Friday, December 27, 2013

Keera Mutta Thoran/ Spinach egg stir fry with grated coconut

Hello every one, how are the holidays coming along?  Hope you all had a great Christmas and was able to spend valuable time with family. I am afraid this is going to be my last post for this year. I am travelling a little bit at the end of the year. And unfortunately I didnt get much time to plan ahead and post some grand item as my last post for this year as much as I wanted to :(. But I hope to make it all up in January when I will complete one year of blogging. Even though I wanted to, I wasnt able to spend much time on blogging this year due to health issues and other stuffs. But again guys, I wont be able to compensate much next year too due to lots of travel being planned. Visiting home for a while and then again bringing my inlaws here for a visit for 6 months and lots of other planned activities which may reduce my alone time a lot.  But that doesnt mean that I am going to give up blogging. Infact, I will try my best to improve my quality of blogging, may be not quantity and publish useful recipes as much as I can. 

I cant believe the year 2013 is ending. The year passed so quickly... Thinking back, it hasnt been that bad a year. There were many ups and downs for me. I suffered a lot healthwise affecting my day to day life a lot.. I was also almost conned by some people from India. Keeping all that and much more aside, I was able to start a food blog, learn more about food and blogging, made lots of friends and there are many more plus points as well. I am happy that the year is ending and hopefully 2014 will be an even better year. How was your year guys ? Enjoy the last week of 2013 and let us celebrate and usher in a new year with lots of hopes and dreams. 

Today I am sharing the recipe of Keera Mutta Thoran (Spinach Egg Thoran or Spinach - Egg in grated coconut mixture). My mom used to make mutta thoran with grated coconut and I just improved it a bit by adding spinach to that combo, trying to make it a little bit more healthy. Hope you all like the dish. This makes an excellent side dish with rice and Chappathi. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Muringakka Thoran/ Drumsticks Thoran

I have been able to blog very little these days. But blogging has always been on the back of my mind and it kept on nagging me that I am not posting recipes frequently as much as I like. So today, I woke up determined to blog a new recipe and with camera in hand, entered the kitchen and started planning lunch menu. Checked my refrigerator and found some Drumsticks/ Muringakka. Okay, decided on a simple and healthy side dish - Drumsticks/ Muringakka Thoran. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Chena Mezhukkupuratti - Yam Stir Fry

Hello Every one, How are you all doing? Winter has started here, Sun is setting earlier and earlier these days. Its becoming dark here at 4 pm now. Used to go for walks with my friends in the evenings during Summer. Now that has been put on hold due to the cold weather. Its difficult to enjoy a good walk when its dark and cold!! Initially when my outdoor activities reduced, I thought I was getting more time for blogging. But then realized that though I can cook more, I cant post any of them due to lack of proper lighting for photos. I tried enhancing photos, but may be I am not using a good software for that perhaps. But I like the photos taken in proper sunlight rather than the enhanced ones. So now, I can post mostly what ever food I cook during the morning and afternoon. But some how my mornings are so hectic, in the hurry to call home before every one sleeps in India and preparing break fast and then lunch before hubby comes home at noon, I hardly find time to take pics. And when lunch is over, nothing is left to take pics. 

A preview of today's recipe before we go further :)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Oats Upma with vegetables for World Diabetes day

Hello friends, Today's a very special post dedicated towards Diabetes. Yes, November 14 is commonly known among us as Children's day(India) celebrated on the birthday of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime minister of Independent India. But did you know that Nov 14 is also the World Diabetes day ? Most of you may be aware of Diabetes disease. If not, in simple terms, Diabetes is the inability of the body to transfer sugar(glucose) from the blood to the body's cells which acts as the energy for the cells. This action is performed by a hormone in the pancreas called insulin. Diabetes is caused when either the body does not produce sufficient insulin or it does not use insulin correctly. High sugar levels in the blood can result in serious heart problems such as heart attacks, strokes or blindness over a period of time.

Many of my uncles and aunts have diabetes and somehow they are managing through medication, healthy and conscious eating and regular physical activity. After marriage, I came to know that my father in law has had diabetes for a couple of years and have to take daily insulin injections. Also he has problems with his foot due to diabetes. I admire my mother in law who has managed to keep my father in law's diabetes under control through healthy food choices. I am aware of the fact that my inlaws have gone through much tension involving my father in law's diabetics. Its always in my mind and not just for diabetics, simply to be healthy, I have always tried to make my cooking healthier. So when Swathi of Zesty Indian Kitchen messaged me asking whether I was interested in doing a diabetic friendly post, immediately I agreed to it. Plan is simple. A couple of bloggers are going to spread awareness about World Diabetics day ( something which I was not aware of before Swathi messaged me) by posting a diabetic friendly post on Nov 14. Thank you Swathi for planning this initiative to make people more aware. I am glad to be part of it.  

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Caramel Pannacotta with Strawberry Coulis - A Guest Post by Vineetha of Malabar Ruchi

Hello every one, I am back with another guest post for the blog. Today's guest post is from an amazing blogger whose food recipes and pics are both mind boggling - Vineetha from the blog RuchiVineetha's blog was one of the few blogs that I started following in the beginning.  Being a novice in cake making and decorating, the way Vineetha presents and decorates her cakes caught my attention very soon and I became a big fan :) You can check out some of her wonderful cakes here, here and here. Her blog Ruchi has not just cakes and other delectable desserts, but includes a variety of Kerala and other regional and international dishes as well. When I requested Vineetha to do a guest post for me, she readily agreed and came back to me with a wonderful dessert.  

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Chana Dal Burfi - SNC challenge

I am part of the South Vs North Challenge, a brain child of Divya Pramil of You too can Cook and the South Vs North Challenge is celebrating its one year anniversary this month. Very proud moment for every one who is part of the challenge. Congratulations and well done guys !! The past few months since I have been part of SNC, the beginning of every month, I eagerly await for the new challenge to be posted and then try to finish them as quickly as possible. I had great fun participating in the event so far.  For the celebratory month, Divya has let us cook from any of the previous challenges. Since I became part of SNC only from April of this year, this meant I had a vast choice available before me. I decided to choose Chana Dal Barfi / Halwa being a celebration time. Plus Diwali is near as well. 

Sweets are both mine and hubby's favorite and Halwas/Burfis are especially close to our hearts. Chana Dal Barfi/Halwa is a delicious dessert and very easy to make. Do try it out for Diwali this year :) The SNC challenge for Chana Dal Barfi/ Halwa was hosted by Kirthi on behalf of Northern Team. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Veg Kurma Hotel style

I love Veg Kurma from hotels especially the Thattukadas in Kerala :) Tastes so delicious and goes well with Appams, Idiyappams, Chappathis and even Rice. Neither my mom nor my  mom in law prepares it at home and as usual I had taken it for granted like its a dish reserved for hotels. I mean when we go to restaurants, dont you feel like eating something different from what you eat regularly at home? But my hubby dearest sometimes behaves very oddly. We go to restaurants for dinner and then he will end up ordering the same Paneer curry which I would have prepared for him the very same afternoon !! 
Recently when I visited my neighbour's home, the house smelled divine with all the lovely spices. These days, we are unable to open our windows for a long time due to cold and hence the cooking smell lingers for a very long time. My neighbour is a great cook and I couldnt control my curiosity as to what excellent dish she has snapped up this time. She told me to taste the dish and it was Veg Kurma and tasted exactly like the one we have from hotels. Immediately got the recipe from her and I tried it out and it was excellent. Both me and hubby loved the dish and decided to include the dish in our menu once in a month. Do check it out guys!! It tastes excellent :)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Vijayadashmi Special - Neivedhyam, Thirumadhuram and Roasted Chana

Happy Vijayadashmi / Dussehra !! Hope every one had a good festival!! Thought of writing a blog post as to how we celebrate the festival at home and of course share the recipe of the simple  dishes that we make as Prasadam during the festival. Names are many for the festival and so are the legends. One among the various legends is celebrating the victory of Goddess Durga over the demon Mahishasur. Usually celebrates various forms of Goddess Durga as Goddess Shakti, Saraswathi, Parvathi and so on and lasts around 9 to 10 days. Another legend associated with Dussehra is Killing of Ravan by Rama. All in all, the popular notion behind the festival is the victory of good over the evil.  Let us celebrate the festival by eradicating evil/false thoughts from our mind and by being righteous. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Dhingri Matar - A guest post by Rekha of Foodolicious Pictured

Hello every one, I am back with another guest post. I have already featured two wonderful bloggers in October. And If you missed any of those, check out the posts for Eggless Coconut Custard buns by Priya Suresh of Priya's Versatile recipes and Kappa Pudding by Rafeeda of The Big Sweet Tooth. Today I am excited to feature another talented blogger whom I met in the blogosphere - Rekha of Foodolicious Pictured. I love everything about her blog including her blog name - "Foodolicious Pictured".. What a wonderful name.. sounds quite elegant to me.. And the name suits her blog and her wonderful recipes very well.. Rekha's blog has some of the most awesome food pictures I have seen so far. When ever I visit her blog, I end up drooling over her amazing food clicks. They are so tempting, well presented and simply fabulous. Check out her guest post for Huma of Gheza-e-shirin on Food Styling and Photography. When I requested Rekha to do a guest post for my space, she agreed immediately and sent me the lovely post of Dhingri Matar. Scroll down to read more and enjoy her fabulous pics :)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Kappa Pudding / Tapioca Pudding - A guest Post from Rafeeda of The Big Sweet Tooth

I am back with another guest post for the week. Today's guest post is from a lovely enthusiastic blogger who is a bit new to the blogging world but established herself so quickly with her wonderful recipes. After stumbling on to her blog, I was hooked onto it immediately.. I love reading her ramblings and the recipes that she brings forth.. Her blog name and the recipes she post mostly depict her sweet tooth:) But you can find traditional Malabar recipes, Bakes, Tea Time snacks and wonderful curries as well.. I am quite astonished at the pace in which blogs. Manages a minimum of 2 or 3 in a week. And that too she blogs during her lunch break from office and finishes it off quickly. Despite the super pace at which she works, She often describes herself as lazy :) So today's guest post is from another super woman from whom I should take time management lessons :)... None other Rafeeda / Rafs or Rafee as referred by her loving friends of the blog "The Big Sweet Tooth". Though I have never seen her, when ever I see her eldest kid's photo, my instinct tells me that I am looking at little Rafee. Through the virtual world, we have connected and I feel that any one who reads the blog, gets the impression of her warm and cheerful personality.. Thank you so much dear for agreeing to do the guest post.. And she is sharing with us a very unique sweet dish.. Read on to find out :) 

Monday, September 30, 2013

Eggless Coconut Custard Buns - A Guest Post from Priya Suresh of Priya's Versatile Recipes

Hello all, This week is going to be a very exciting one. From this Tuesday to the next one, I have lined up a few guest posts from some of my favorite bloggers. The idea of presenting a few guest posts was something that I had been thinking about for a long time. But I started approaching bloggers a month back when I realized that I had to neglect my blog for a few months while being on a vacation to India. Approached a few of my favorite bloggers whose blogs I have been following from the start and I must confess, all  of them were too enthusiastic and good to me and were sweet enough to send the guest post as quickly as they could. Presenting them on my blog is absolutely an honor
During the initial days of my blogging, I came upon a very beautiful blog which have thousands of recipes on it. From Veg to Non Veg to cakes and other baked items, name any thing and most were on the blog!! While I struggle to post weekly, the beautiful lady of the blog posts almost daily. By then, I had became a fan of her and a follower of her blog. So far in 2013, she has posted more than 300 recipes !! She keeps participating in many events like blogging marathons and other baking challenges to keep learning more and more. When I first joined the event SNC, I was astonished to find that she will be the first person to complete the challenge every time!! You see, most times the challenge gets posted just before I sleep (US Time) and by the time, I awake, she would have completed the challenge and posted it as well :)  You need no more guesses, the awesome blogger who has agreed to do a guest post for me is none other than Priya Suresh of Priya's Versatile Recipes. She is a very simple, warm, humble and enthusiastic person and from whom I should learn time management for sure :) An experienced blogger, she encourages new bloggers whose blogs are less than 2 years old by featuring them on her blog through "Rendezvous with a Foodie" on every 7th and 20 th of the month. When I approached her for for a guest post, she immediately agreed and asked me whether I need something in particular for my blog. Since my blog do not have much baked items, I asked Priya Akka if she can do any baked item and just scroll down to see what she came up with :) Its soooo good :) Moving over to Priya Akka....

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Kerala Unniyappam

Hello every one, How are you all doing? Unfortunately I am not getting time to visit other fellow blogger's posts and participate in many events as much as I like to do . Do be patient with me. I am not going out of touch. Just having a bit of problem with time management I guess ... Thank you every one for your kind and warm birthday wishes sent to me yesterday. Birthdays are always special. And when friends and family are with you wholeheartedly on the occasion, it does become very very special. Thought a lot about what dish should I make specially for my birthday.. I mean its the first time I am getting such kind of opportunity to cook in detail. Till last year, either I was pampered at home or I was at work and hardly had any time to cook. Should it be a cake? or a traditional Payasam? Wondered a lot.. but then I decided against making anything special, thinking to go traditional on my star birthday. Ha ! Another occasion to celebrate:)  Then I chanced upon some Bananas (Palayam Thodan) in a Kerala Store here last week end and decided to make Unniyappam on a whim. Oh yes, I think, most dishes are made depending on our moods/whim, rather than the necessity :). 
Unniyappam is a delicacy from Kerala prepared mainly with Rice, Jaggery and Bananas and loved by one and all :) The name Unniyappam means "Small Appam or Small pancake". It is typically made with a Unniyappa Chatti (Paniyaram Pan - kind of Aebleskiver Pan) which gives small appams. Unniyappams are made using Palayam Thodan Bananas which are quite small in size and not the regular ones. When we are outside Kerala and do not find the usual Palayam Thodan Bananas, we use the regular Bananas to make Unniyappams. Ofcourse, a little taste difference will be there. but still tasty :) Now, Unniyappam is different from Neyappam (another Kerala delicacy).  Neyyappam which means Ghee Appam, is made with Rice, Bananas and Palm Jaggery and fried in oil in a regular pan. Yes, Even though it is named as Neyyappam, Ghee is used very sparingly or sometimes not at all used for making it and always fried in oil and not ghee. Hope this has been helpful. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Round up of WTML - August

Hello every one, I hosted Gayathri's Walking through the memory lane - WTML event for August and am glad to say that I received more than 100 entries for the event. Thank you Gayathri for providing me the wonderful opportunity to host WTML and Thank you my dear friends for making my first guest hosting event a great success. Gayathri has selected a random winner for August and the giveway winner is entry 135 - Dry Fruit balls in mango cream sauce sent by Poornima of Cooking with Poorni blog. Congrats Poornima!! Gayathri will be mailing you the giveway  cookbook Tarla Dalal's Mithai !! The event announcement for September and the winner announcement for August can be found on Gayathri's blog. WTML for September is hosted by Priya of Yummy foods - Priya Virundhu!! Please check out her blog for the event details and do participate in the event and make it a huge success. 

Friday, August 30, 2013

Kesar Pista Kulfi

Beginning of every month, I eagerly await for many of the challenges that I participate in. 
One such challenge is Divya Pramil's South Vs North Challenge. A very fun event to be part of. I joined the group in April and except for missing the challenge last month, had participated in all of them. Let me explain the event. There are two groups of bloggers for the event - Northern Team and Southern Team. I am part of the Southern team. Both teams challenges each other with one dish the beginning of every month. Attractive awards are presented to many of the bloggers for completing the challenge. In the month of May, the challenge given by the Northern team was Dhokar Dalna, a Bengali dish. I received the award for "The Well Explained Dish". 

Loved the award. Thank you so much Divya Pramil and every one in the group. Do check out the round up for May and June here. This month, the challenge given to the Southern Team was Kesar Pista Kulfi by Shruti. As soon as I saw the pictures of the Kulfi, my mouth started watering. Its stiffling hot these days being summer and we enjoyed having Kulfi. Every time it so happens that I dont have the basic ingredients to make the dish and have to delay the making of the dish to mid of the month. August has been way too hectic for me and hence I am posting the dish very late even though I could make it by second week. Tasted awesome and my neighbours appreciated it so much as well :) Off on to the recipe now :)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Coconut Saffron Rava Halwa or Nariyal Kesar Suji Halwa or Coconut Saffron Semolina Pudding

Hello all, Happy Shree Krishna Jayanthi to all. In Kerala, the birth of Krishna is commonly known as Ashtami Rohini rather than Janmashtami, Gokulashtami and other names. Thats because the birth of Krishna falls on fourth lunar nakshatra Rohini on the 8th quart of the moon Ashtami (as per my google search) . At my home, my mom prepares Pal Payasam (Rice Kheer/Pudding) and we visit the nearby Krishna temple. If little kids are present, then they will be dressed up in either Krishna's or Radha's dress and they may participate in some Ghoshayatra (Temple processions). I remember the whole city being blocked due to processions that day. Today I was talking to my mom and she didnt have holiday at office. She had to walk almost all the distance back to home due to traffic block. And the distance is more than 4 - 5 km for sure !! I am not sure whether I will be be able to do the same even now and definitely not at all in my old age. 
As part of celebrating Ashtami Rohini at my home with hubby, I made Aval Nanachathu and Panchamrutam in the morning and served it before God. Afternoon I prepared Pal Payasam and Jagruti's Coconut Saffron Semolina Pudding. Yes, its time again for another Cyber style potluck party and this month lucky me had got Jagruti as my partner. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Whats with my Cuppa 2 - Nupur's Event for August - September

Are you a tea or a coffee person? I am not a fan of either.. How ever that doesnt stop me from being a big fan of the tea time snacks that we enjoy in the evenings ( Nalu mani palaharam in Malayalam :) ). Well, During my childhood, after coming from school every evening I used to eagerly wait for my parents to come from office. As soon as they enter the home, the first question that I asked was "What did you bring me today to eat?". Most of the times, they used to bring me typical Kerala snacks like "Parippuvada"(Lentil Fritters), "Vazhakayappam" (Banana Fritters), Modakam/Sukhiyan, Neiyappam, Unniyappam, Murukku, Pakkavada, Bhajji, Laddoo and sometimes Kerala Porotta. As I grew up, the Kerala snacks got replaced by Puffs, Samosas, Cakes and Burgers :) And if nothing else, there would be Banana Chips or Jackfruit Chips at home. And if that too were not there, there will be some biscuits for sure along with hot tea for my parents and milk for me :) So what do you guys have along with your tea / Coffee ? I know some favors sweet dishes while some prefers savory items. What ever it may be, share your dishes to the event "Nupur's Whats with my Cuppa!! "
I am very happy to announce at my blog space the second event that I am guest hosting -Whats with my Cuppa 2? A lovely event for all the fans of tea time snacks !! Any cuisine, any snack that you would like to have with your daily cup of tea or coffee and in my case a glass of milk :) Thanks Nupur for giving me the opportunity to host such a wonderful event !! 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Kerala Style Soya Chunks Curry or Masala

Its supposed to be summer here in US. but slowly the weather is changing. A slight chill is present these days in the mornings and late evenings. Lovely weather I would say. Not too hot and not too cold. May be because of the weather change, fever, cold, sore throat and viral infections are rampant every where. First my neighbour's kids got the fever and slowly passed to me as I spend a lot of time with them :( That followed a fresh bout of allergy rashes has left me weak and home bound for a week. With all this, cooking has taken a backward seat and I am unable to try new dishes as much as I like. How ever I didnt want to miss Jagruti's Potluck Party, Cyber Style for this month. To those of you who are not familiar with the potluck party, it is a fun event for bloggers. They post new dishes for the party on 10 th of every month and then the bloggers are assigned a partner. We get to make the yummy dishes of our partners and post the recipe on 28 th of the month. I have already posted 2 sweets ( Khubani Ka Meetha and Kaju Katli ) and Vegetable Fried Rice for the party. This month I wanted to post a gravy and decided upon on Soya curry. The recipe source is my hubby and is based on what he calls Kerala Style Curries :) So here it is Kerala style Soya Chunks Curry.  

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Bombay Toast

My earliest memories of cooking at home will be that of my mom baking cakes at home. Our home will be fragrant with such a divine smell when she bakes :) I used to love watching her beat eggs and see them fluff up with delight. After a while her oven broke down and that was the end of it. She didnt bake much again for us. Recently after hearing about both mine and my sister's baking tales, she tried making a cake again. but this time with pressure cooker. My mom cooks the way typically any working woman cooks. Hurriedly and Very Quickly. I love her cooking. Its not perfect. In fact I have tasted better cooking. My dad cannot stand too much salt and too much spiciness. And all the dishes are cooked according to his taste. When my uncles and aunties come home for break fast/ lunch / dinner, they scold my mom for cooking with less salt and less spiciness. How ever I have grown used to her cooking and adore them. There are some dishes of hers that I would love to have any day any time than from any restaurant. One is her Meen Curry and the other is Bombay Toast. 

Walking through the memory lane - WTML for August with a giveway

Hi guys, I am very happy and excited to announce the first event I am hosting at my blog space. Its none other than Gayathri's "Walking through the memory lane" event (WTML). And  whats more the event comes with a giveway too... Most of you may be familiar with Gayathri, a versatile blogger of Gayathri's Cook Spot. Most of her recipes comes with a step by step tutorial that is helpful to one and all. An amazing blogger, Gayathri has recently started her own eggless baking venture in Madurai. To know more about her baking venture, do click here.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Almond Chocolate Fudge balls

Its summer in US. Hot bright sun and a cloudless sky and longer daylight time with the sun setting at 8 pm !! Absolutely love it.. Enjoying long walks in the bright summer and slight chilly evenings !! Mean time my parents tell me that its raining cats and dogs in Kerala. Just hearing about the rain makes my heart flutter and yearn for the heavy rains... Huge dark clouds all around the sky and heavy downpour of rains continuously ... Fresh smell of rains hitting the first time on the ground, pools and pools of water all around, making boats and trying to sail them on the muddy water.. those are my good memories of the rains in Kerala. Also in Kerala, it means greenery all around. Ah.. bliss.. 
[In between the long ramblings, a sneak peak of today's recipe.. Oh Yes, this is going to be one of my long posts again!!. Feel free to skip directly to the recipe!! )

Friday, July 26, 2013

Green Gram Curry or Payaru Curry

Hello friends, How are you all?  It has been a week and more since I posted any new recipes. Life has been too hectic for me since last week. My daily routine was turned upside down and am still trying to settle down properly. Sigh! Involvement in too many activities make me feel like 24 hrs is not enough for me :( But thank you very much, I am enjoying thoroughly and doing good. Its just that I need to find sometime for myself, sit quietly, check on my priorities, rearrange them and settle down to a new routine. 
Its already Friday afternoon and I am not sure how time flew this week. Kitchen floor and fridge needs cleaning and I have been purposefully ignoring them just to avoid cleaning the whole week... How ever its friday and I really need to clean up before hubby comes from office. Actually thinking of it, most Fridays are my cleaning days. How about you guys? Have you kept aside any special day in a week for cleaning ? Previously when I was working, used to await week ends with great enthusiasm. Fridays used to be casual wear days at office. Longer breaks from work on Fridays, going home early or ordering pizza to office and sleeping late through Saturday - Sundays and experiencing Monday morning blues :) Now I do detest week ends as my hubby turns on his cleaning freak syndrome on week ends !!! Ha !! So I try to do my part in cleaning the house as much as possible on Fridays. And on week ends? I sit on my bed/ sofa sipping green tea or juice, munching on some delicacy, reading my favorite book and watching my hubby run around the whole house :)  
Today we have a moody gloomy climate here and I feel like resorting to a microwave chocolate cake for cheering up. But instead decided to prepare one of my comforting food - Payaru Curry or Green gram curry, a delicious gravy that go with both Rice and Rotis. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Date Balls or Date Roll

Actually I am not sure what name should I give to today's recipe. Hmm...I think I would like to go for Dates Balls or Dates Roll ... But whats in a name... For food, taste is the one that matters. Recently my doctor told me I was a bit anemic and my hubby took it upon himself to feed me food with as much as iron as possible. So I am mostly trying to eat dates and spinach. By the way, did you know that eating a date is really good for your health and you will be getting all the minerals and vitamins that you need for your daily consumption from dates? Yes, I usually eat one or two dates daily now and after a while, I started getting a bit tired of it. So I thought to make some food stuff with dates instead of having them just plain and what I really wanted to make was date cake. But had only very few dates with me. Thats when I remembered watching a cookery show on TV  and got the idea to make date balls. Here goes the recipe. Its very easy to make and needs hardly few minutes to assemble together. Do check it out. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Vegetable Fried Rice

I love fried rice. Any Kind - Vegetable, Chicken and Egg. My mom used to make delicious vegetable fried rice frequently on Sundays and the whole house will be filled with the fragrance of freshly made ginger garlic paste and ghee. Yes, She used to  fry the rice in ghee and it was just yummy !!! I used to hang around the kitchen from the time I come to know that she is preparing fried rice (through the fragrance from the kitchen ofcourse ) in the hope that it will get over soon and then I will bring my plate forward and grab a share :) My mom serves it along with Raita. Finish off the fried rice and then everyone will go off and take a long Sunday nap :) 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Carrot Beans Thoran

Today is the first Thursday of July and its time for my Vegan Thursday. As mentioned in earlier blog posts, Vegan Thursday is a group started by Priya Suresh of Priya's Versatile Recipes. First and Last Thursday of every month, we post vegan recipes. If any one is interested in joining the group, please contact Priya suresh. I am posting the recipe of Carrot Beans Thoran for the Vegan Thursday. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Bread Upma

What kind of break fast do you have usually? I used to live on Idli, Dosa, Appam, Idiyappam for so long in my life that when I started staying alone with my friends, I started preferring Cornflakes and oats. But now I have come a full circle again and gone back to my Idlis and Dosas for health reasons. My room mates who were from Andhra and Karnataka had taught me some delicious break fast items like the recipe I am going to share today - Bread Upma. Very unique for me who at that point of time imagined bread to be used only with Jam and Butter :)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Kerala Style Egg curry or Mutta Curry

As mentioned in other blog posts, since the climate is quite hot, one hardly feels like cooking these days. I have quite a bit of free time in the afternoons now, as my dearest neighbour has gone to India for vacation. Otherwise most of my time would have been spent walking with her and her lovely one year old son. He has captured almost every one's heart in the apartment. Every one knows him and smiles at him. People bring their pets in front of his home just to see him squeal with joy. Every time I hear him say BAA, I run to my window to see a glimpse of him. My dearest neighbour has been my tester for many of my recipes. She herself, a wonderful cook has taught me many recipes. Unfortunately coming to think of it, all of them are in my drafts. When they were here, I would play with him as much as we can in the afternoon, then hurry to home and prepare some snack and rush thru pics and then hurry back again to his home for evening walks. Well, now that they are on vacation and I have sufficient time for cooking some delicacy, I still laze around, lying on bed, watching some movie or listening some songs or catching up with every one in the blogging world. Gosh ! I think I can spent whole day browsing and drooling at all the recipes!!! Even though I would love to bake a lot, I find myself hesitating due to health concerns. I love preparing lavish gravies and veg curries and stir fries the most. Love sweets but they have taken a back seat for now. I am trying to learn some authentic Kerala dishes now and hopefully they will make their way in the blog very soon. Today's recipe is one such authentic Kerala dish - Mutta Curry or Kerala style Egg curry. Of late, it has become one of the regulars in our weekly menu. I have done much research on the dish and prepared it atleast 5 times to get the authentic taste. Finally I am happy with the result and the recipe is making its way into my blog for reference.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Mango Shrikhand

Its hot, hot and hot :( Temperatures are soaring here and the last week end, the temperature reached the 40 C mark. Did I mention humid ? I feel like I am back in my home town sweating in the humid weather. We didnt venture out much on the week end. I would have loved to go to some local farm and pick some berries. But because of the hot and humidity, I cancelled the plan. Sitting inside home has become difficult without AC. If it had been Kerala, I would have sat outside in the steps with my mother, reading or talking, swinging the hand fan very fast, waiting for a breeze to come. Would have gone to the Shankumugam beach in the evening. Or spent in our terrace with lovely breeze all around. Cant imagine AC at home. Here in US, not a single leaf moves right now and the only sound that I can hear is that of the ac's from different apartment. No birds or squirrels can be seen anywhere. So when temperature is this high, we obviously turn to some food to help cool us down. Previously my hubby would have loved to enjoy ice creams after every meal. But after several fights about health concern, he has shifted to frozen yoghurt. I dont prefer that as well due to their additional sugar content. And the low fat or fat less versions arent much better. Thats when I thought of Shrikhand which is hung curd whipped to cream like consistency. And I had half a can of Alphonso Mango and added that to make a yummy Mango Shrikhand. 

Friday, June 28, 2013

Eggless Mango Marble Cake

Today is Twenty Eighth of the month and its time for my Potluck Party, Cyber Style, an event which is the brain child of Jagruti of J Cooking Odyssey. On tenth of every month, we post our recipes for the event and then we are assigned partners from the event. We then prepare our partner's recipe and post them on the twenty eighth of the month. This month I had posted the recipe of Kaju Katli and I was assigned Nayana Pikle as my partner and I get to prepare her Eggless Mango Chocolate Marble cake as today's recipe. I was very excited to find that I get to prepare a cake as part of the event. You may have noticed that I have very few cake recipes posted on the blog. My blog covers only the basic cake and Rava cake recipes. Do check them out. I used to bake a lot in the initial days of blogging but couldnt post the recipes due to lack of good pics and camera :( Again when I had a decent camera, I was struggling with a couple of health issues and consciously stayed away from baking for a while. Now my health has improved a bit and I have started preparing sweets and cakes again :) But still maintaining a control on them. So I dont think I may bake cake till any special occasion from now. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Butternut Squash Erissery

Hi Every one, I am back after a very short hiatus... I had to stay away from blogging for various personal reasons for almost two weeks... But that doesnt mean I wasnt trying out new recipes. I have many tested recipes that are in draft now and will be published very soon. Even though I wasnt posting anything new, I still checked my FB, google+ updates and have tried to keep in touch with the new recipes posted by my fellow bloggers.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Kaju Katli

Last week my neighbour cum friend's parents came to visit them in US and brought a lot of sweets for all of us :) We received a small pack of Kaju Katli from them and enjoyed them immensely. They were so good, delicious and yummy that it got over within half a day!! Naturally these days as I eat or see or sometimes smell any beautiful dish, I start wondering about how to make them and then try them at home asap... Started reading up online recipes of Kaju Katli, talked to mom and ignored her worrying voice asking me or rather advising me "dont you think you are eating a little too much sweets these days? You should have a control and try to make some spicy snacks for a change!!" . Went ahead and tried the absolutely lip smacking recipe at home and they came out so well that I am planning to make them often and not tell my mom about it !!
Also it is the 10 th of June and time for my "Potluck Party, Cyber style", a brain child of Jagruti. This month also I am posting the recipe of a sweet, adapting the recipe from here and hoping that next month I will follow my mom's advice and be back with something spicy :)

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Tuna Thoran or Tuna Stir Fry

Today I am posting the recipe of Canned Tuna Thoran or Canned Tuna Stir Fry. A very easy and quick recipe to make. I remember the first time we got canned tuna at home. One of my cousins had returned from Mali and along with chocolates he brought some canned tuna to our home. My mom was confused as to what she should prepare with canned tuna. Not being the age of internet and not being familiar with much non veg dishes, she tried out a stir fry with the canned tuna.. They didnt turn that good and never again was canned tuna prepared at my home... Years later in US, somehow my eyes fell on a can of Tuna at our usual grocery shop and I started wondering what I can prepare with it. Got it as usual on impulse and then I started searching for recipes that I can make with Canned tuna online. I have adapted the recipe from here and tried at home. It came out so well that my hubby has started buying canned tuna every week and asking me to make it. Go ahead and try the recipe... Its for keeps :)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Chole Palak (Chickpeas and Spinach in Tomato based gravy)

Today is Vegan Thursday :) I am part of the Vegan Thursday group started by Priya Suresh of Priya's versatile recipes. On the first and last thursday of every month, we post vegan recipes and share with the group. I am sharing the recipe of Chole Palak or Palak Chana : ) I first came to taste this dish when one of my colleagues brought it for lunch. At my home, we usually prepare the plain Chana Masala (North Indian Style) or Kadala Curry (Chickpeas in coconut milk gravy or roasted coconut gravy which is Kerala Style). But adding spinach or Palak to Chickpeas or Chole makes the dish even more healthier. By the way, I am yet to post the Kerala style Chickpeas or Chole curry yet on the blog. Another recipe to be noted on my to do list :) 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Chanar Jalebi / Paneer Jalebi

As you know, I am part of the South Vs North Challenge started by Divya Pramil of "You too Can Cook" Blog. As part of this challenge, we are divided into two groups - North and South. Every month, each group challenges each other with a dish which all of us have to make and post. This month, Chandrani of "Cuisine delights" challenged the Southern group with the dish "Bengali Chanar Jalebi" and the Priya Suresh of "Priya's Versatile recipes" challenged the Northern group with "Chettinad Pakoda Kuzambu". I joined the group late in April and participated in the last 2 month's challenges and had lots of fun making the two dishes which were "Khandvi" and "Dhokar Dolna". Do check out the earlier challenges :). 

Friday, May 31, 2013

Khaman Dhokla

Today I am posting the recipe of Khaman Dhokla a Gujarati delicacy.  My room mate in Hyderabad used to love these Dhoklas. Every time we went shopping to the supermarket on Sundays, we used to check whether ready made Dhoklas were available and buy them. She taught me to enjoy these Dhoklas with its special chutney if it was available. Otherwise she used to mix and prepare some Tamarind based chutney very quickly and serve. Well, it sort of became a routine with us. And since old habits die hard,  after coming to US, I decided to prepare them at home. Searched recipes online and found microwave based and steaming versions. As always, I decided to try the easy and quick one first. Found out half way of preparing the dish that I dont have fruit salt with me. Tried with baking soda and lime juice. But they didnt taste like the ready made ones we used to buy and the color was orange rather than yellow. But still taste was good. For my second attempt with the microwave version, I tried with fruit salt and they came out well. Looked the right color, tasted really good. But still it didnt taste like the ones I used to buy. I was left wondering about the authentic taste of the Dhoklas. 

I decided to try the steaming version next. I searched many recipes and saw that some required soaking chana dal alone and some required soaking both chana dal and rice. And they were some recipes with Gram Flour ( Besan). Since my first two attempts were with  gram flour, I decided to try with Chana Dal this time. Hmm.. But requires a bit of time for cooking. Any way I decided to go for it and let me tell you, it was totally worth it. I soaked dal alone overnight and in the morning ground it to a coarse paste. Then added curd, salt, lime juice and let it ferment till evening. When I opened it in the evening, I knew that it was going to taste like my ready made ones. The smell I got reminded me in fact of my ready made ones. Added turmeric, green chilly - ginger paste, fruit salt and steamed for around 15 - 20 min. Came out fluffy and soft. Loved them. Thoroughly delicious. Enjoy them with a cuppa Tea. Adapted the recipe mostly from here.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Potato Stew

Hello every one, I am back from my short vacation. Last week end was the memorial day week end in US. Just for a bit of wikipedia knowledge, Memorial day in US is the day for remembering the men and women who died serving the United states armed forces. It falls on the last monday of May every year. My hubby took two more days off and we went for a short 5 day vacation in Portland, Oregon. I was very nervous on the trip due to some health constraints. But thanks to God, everything went off fine.  Visited some scenic places in Portland including several water falls and two light houses. Absolutely breath taking scenery. More over with light rain during our stay (and heavy rain otherwise) and overcast clouds and you can see only greenery where ever you look. Fresh new leaves were sprouting and many flowers were also in bloom. Loved the experience. Very rejuvenating. The place reminded me of the monsoon in Kerala. By the way, Monsoon starts on the last week of May in Kerala too. And on June 1st, when the school reopens, pouring rain follows. And raincoats and umbrellas were a must while shopping for the new school year... Remembrances aside, the trip was fun... 

As for today's recipe, I am part of a group called "Vegan Thursdays" started by Priya Suresh of the famous blog "Priya's Versatile Recipes". We post vegan recipes first and last Thursdays of every month. As part of the Vegan thursdays, I am posting the recipe of Potato Stew today. Recipe source is my mom and I absolutely love the way she makes this stew. Ya, I am one of those rare species who do not like potatoes that much. But with this recipe, I just drink up the stew in a bowl and finish the potatoes as well!!! My mom usually prepares potato stew as a side dish with Appam or Idiyappam and it tastes delicious. The recipe is very simple and very very quick to prepare especially for morning break fast. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Chola Tikki / Chickpea Patties

Dear Friends, Hope you are all enjoying the summer well... We have a long week end due to memorial day in US and I am currently on a very short vacation. A visit to my sister's place in US. I am really nervous about this trip... After leaving my job and before coming to US with my hubby, this is the first trip I am making.. 5 months since I have been idle... waking up in my own time, cooking in my own time and then reading and making friends with neighbours... Leading a life which is completely different from what I led so far... 5 months have been wonderful... I never knew time flew so quickly without doing anything... At the same time, I have been sick since January struggling with various health issues which has become a serious deterrent to my otherwise jolly life... Now, all my schedule is going to be turned upside down with the trip... Fearing that my health issues may spoil an otherwise should be fun trip... Praying or hoping that it should not be the case... I am also eagerly waiting to return home so that I can meet my new neighbours :) Hoping to make new friends... All in all should be a happening week... 

Today I am posting the recipe of Chola Tikki/ Chickpea Patties as part of Jagruti's Potluck Party Cyber style . Potluck Party works this way.. Tenth of every month we post recipes of our own and then we are assigned a partner and we try out the recipe posted by our partner and post the recipe on our blog on 28th of the same month... So, on 10th of this month, I posted the recipe of Khubani Ka Meetha and was assigned Manjula Kanted of Desi Fiesta blog as my partner. She had posted the recipe of this yummy starter - Chola Tikki. I tried out the recipe and the tikkis tasted delicious... My only concern is the pics that I took... What do you think guys?  Do give me tips to improve my blog photos :)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Cabbage Thoran / Cabbage Stir Fry Kerala Style

A new week has started... Time to post a new recipe :) As much as I would love to post every day, it simply doesnt work out most of the times. Either the pics do not come out too well because of the lack of proper lighting or there is no time to take pics before serving or the dish is good but you expect a bit more flavors and would like to experiment and try the dish again. Then again there will be a delay before I cook the dish again as I cant repeat the dish very often or my dearest hubby may start complaining... Lots of reasons... Ufff.. struggles a blogger has to go through!! but I tell you, the end result and inspiring comments by the blog's readers is simply worth it!! After seeing so many beautiful blogs, I have also started striving for perfection in the dishes that I make and the pics I post. I have published a couple of recipes in my blog for which there are no pictures uploaded. The reason being what ever pictures that I took was not satisfactory enough to upload. This happened during my initial days of blogging when I really wanted to share more recipes rather than worrying about pics.Constantly I am amazed by the so many beautiful blogs that are present today, recipes, unique dishes, enthusiastic bloggers who blog every day despite their hectic schedule with Kids, office and family; I have learnt so much from each and every one of them just by browsing through their blogs, knowing them through their blogs and FB and would like to "Thank" them for their constant presence and encouraging attitude.  

Today I am posting the recipe of Cabbage Thoran or Cabbage Stir Fry Kerala Style. This is one side dish that I love having with my lunch. Also Cabbage thoran or cabbage stir fry forms an important side dish in our Kerala Feast or Sadhya. And if you prepare Kerala Style Dal - Parippu currry, Cabbage thoran and pappadam for lunch, its a heavenly combination and I am drooling just thinking about it :)  Now a days, when ever I come to Kerala for vacation, both my mom and mom in law prepare this lunch specially for me as its my favorite combo :) 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Strawberry Falooda

Yesterday was the hottest day in California I think since last december. We stayed indoors taking rest after the vigorous shopping we did on Saturday :) . In the evening we went out for our weekly grocery shopping and then for a short drive. At around 7.30 in the evening, the sun was bright as if it was still 5 pm in the evening and I didnt feel like cooking dinner yet. It was so hot and stuffy inside the house especially after coming from outdoors!! Then I decided to cook something that will fill us up and cool us down. I thought about the Indian summers and suddenly Falooda came to my mind. Yummy, delicious and cooling!! 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Khubani ka Meetha or Qubani ka Meetha

Khubani ka Meetha or Qubani ka Meetha ( I am not sure which spelling is correct. So decided to give both :) ) is a yummy dessert that I happened to taste in Hyderabad. For people who are not familiar with Khubani Ka Meetha: It is a delicious dessert made from dried apricots. Very popular in Hyderabad and served most commonly in the Hyderabadi Weddings. The word Khubani in Urdu means Apricot and Meetha as you know means Sweet. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Masala Idli

Tired of having plain old idli for Break fast? Try out the Masala Idlis. Thinking how to finish the left over idlis? Try making yummy Masala Idlis. I love idlis and during my childhood, used to have only idlis for break fast. Another reason for having idlis for break fast is that it is very easy to swallow it and run out of the home where dad is waiting outside the home to drop me to the school/ college bus stop :)  :) These days I have cornflakes, bread, oats or other smoothies for break fast. Chose them due of the ease in making them definitely. But still miss my idli days. Occasionally I make idlis for dinner and then make enough of them to have for break fast as well. And for a variety, I make masala idlis. Easy to make, over in a jiffy and tastes delicious...

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Dates Banana Almond Milk Shake

Resolutions !! I absolutely love resolutions!! Making them and then breaking them as well !!  Whats the maximum time that you have adhered to resolutions? Me, around 1 month... Thats all.. Then forgotten until next year.. Well, I made such a resolution around 2 weeks back that I will try to post every day for a month continuously excluding the week ends!! But I ended up breaking the resolution in just a week!! Reasons are many... Main issue was the health problems that I have been encountering quite frequently for a while and the second issue was purely lack of time.. Hopefully very soon I will able to adhere to posting daily.. But right now all I can manage is probably 2 posts a week... 
Today I am posting the recipe of Dates Banana Almond Milk Shake. Do you know that consuming one date a day is necessary in a balanced and healthy diet... I didnt like dates much in my childhood. But recently I brought a packet of medjool dates and loved them. Aboslutely sweet and very plump.. Loved them so much that I made sweet chutney for the Chaats with them (Recipe coming soon). It came out so well that I started thinking about how else I can use them other than having them as snacks. Then I found that we can make milkshakes with dates. Decided to try it out and have as my break fast smoothie today. It was so filling and yum!! Here goes the recipe... 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Dhokar Dalna or Lentil Cakes curry for SNC Challenge - May

In April, I was one of the last few people to complete the SNC challenge. Well, This time, I want to be one of the first. As you may know, SNC challenge is an event started by Divya Pramil of "You too can cook". As part of the event, the bloggers are divided into two groups based on region - Southern Group and Northern Group. Each month, each team challenges the other with one recipe. The event is so much fun, challenging and very informative. I joined the event very late last month and then posted last month's challenge which was a Gujarati dish - Khandvi here. So this month, Nabanita Das of the blog "Esho- Bosho-Aahare" has challenged the Southern team with a dish called  "Dhokar Dalna". Now this is a dish from the Bengali cuisine and I have never heard or tasted it before. That made the event even more challenging!!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Khandvi for SNC challenge

Recently I joined the South Vs North Challenge started by Divya Pramil of You too can cook blog. Let me tell you about the event. There are 2 teams - Southern Team consisting of bloggers from Southern states of India and the Northern Team consisting of members from remaining states of India. Each month the teams challenge each other with different recipes. For example the Northern team has to prepare the dish given by the Southern team and vice vera. I am sooo excited to be part of this challenge. It will give me opportunities to learn new recipes from different parts of India as well. For this month's challenge, Hetal of Gujarathi Zaika, challenged the Southern Team with the famous Gujarathi Farsan Khandvi, a dish made from gram flour (Besan).  

Unfortunately, I am going to be the last person to post the challenge recipe I think :(. I joined the challenge quite late and then completely got involved in personal affairs and didnt get a chance to post the recipe earlier. but I guess its better to be late than never. So here goes the recipe. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Elayappam or Ela ada or sweetened ada in Banana leaf

The day turned out to be unusually dim. Only bright spot proved to be what I cooked today. I made Chena Erissery (Yam in Coconut gravy) and Vazhakka Mezhukkupuratti (Raw Banana Fry) for lunch today. It was yummy and I was reminded of my home so much... Unfortunately I didnt get time to take pictures before serving lunch. And for night, I made Ragi dosa which usually comes out well for me. But today of all days, my iron Tawa refused to co-operate with me and then I decided to use my new Non stick Tawa which I hadnt had the opportunity so far to inaguarate. Result? Best Ragi Dosas that I ever made!!! Crispy and Delicious!! Again no opportunity for pictures. All these recipes will have to wait  till the next time I cook them. 
When I went grocery shopping on the week end, all of a sudden I found Banana Leaf in the rack. As soon as I saw them, I started insisting on buying them. My hubby was skeptic as to their usage. But due to my insistence, yielded to buying them. Only condition - I should not waste them out. 
So dear friends, all this week you will see items made in Banana Leaf. The dish that I making today is Ela Appam or Ela Ada ( Ela stands for Leaf in Malayalam). It is made very commonly on our household as a 4pm evening snack. I called up my mom today morning just to get the recipe correctly and made them and they turned out awesome!!!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Parippu Payasam for Sadhya

This has been one of those weeks when my determination and will power has been questioned. Having made the decision to post continuously for 5 days a week, I had to fight past all sorts of temptations. But the satisfaction or a feeling of achievement that you get after sticking firm to a resolution(achieving a goal) cant be expressed. Keeping that in sight, I hope to adhere to the resolution as much as I can. Today I am posting the recipe for Parippu Payasam or Parippu Pradhaman or Dal Payasam or Lentil Payasam. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Meen Curry(Fish Curry) Trivandrum Style

Last night after blogging late into the night, I decided to plan my next day so that I utilize it quite efficiently. I know, I am a housewife with only a hubby to manage. So there is not much I had to juggle around. But still I felt that I was rushing through the day finding myself without time even to cook or relax. So, I set some targets for the day. One was to cook fish curry for the afternoon lunch and blog about it before evening and glad to say that I have accomplished that by this blog post of Kerala Fish Curry. Quite pleased about it that I have decided to break my other targets of the day to celebrate :) 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Kerala Style Coconut Chutney

I have to say Hats off to the bloggers who blog daily with out fail. When I decided to blog continuously for a month with the exception of Saturday/Sundays, little did I know that it will be so hard!! All of a sudden unexpected activities are keeping me too much busy that I am hardly finding time to cook!! but still I am gonna try my best not to break my so called resolution :) Today I am posting a very simple recipe of Kerala Style Coconut Chutney.  

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Palak Kofta with Palak Rice ( Spinach Kofta with Spinach Rice)

Every day my hubby comes home for lunch at noon and I usually prepare Rice, curry and one or two side dish. This week he has some continuous meetings that makes it difficult for him to come home for lunch. After all the usual arguments/inquiries resulting in arguments about why you are not coming for lunch and all, I was left wondering now that I dont have to prepare elaborate lunches, what the hell should I prepare for just myself. Then I remembered that there were lots of rice dishes or one pot meals that I wanted to try but havent got a chance till now since my hubby do not like much varieties in the usual rice and curry.  Today I decided to make one such rice dish which is Palak Chawal with Palak Kofta. (Spinach rice with Spinach Kofta). 

I have been thinking of making some koftas from a long time. But since I dont like deep frying, I have been wanting to steam / bake some of them. And steaming is what I opted for the Palak Koftas.