Thursday, 30 August 2007

Cabbage Moong dal Fry

I haven't been cooking for the past 4 days..I made a huge pan of sambar on Sunday and 've been eating it with rice and omlet/crisps/papads for dinner...and junk for lunch @ today while coming home I decided to cook something fresh..Came home opened my fridge and found a chunk of cabbage lying alone...It was looking so dull and dipressed..I felt as if it was asking me "Why did you leave me alone? something..'m sick of being cut and stored for days together"...hmmm...but then I don't cook cabbage alone...I hate the raw smell and the bland taste of cabbage...

My cabbage recipe index is cabbage-grated coconut stir fry, cabbage-potato curry, cabbage-spinach and last but not the least..cabbage-moong dal fry...I also make cabbage upma (substitute onions with chopped cabbage...idea adopted frm my friend Praveena who's a great devotee of Iskon)

No potatoes, no coconut and no spinach at home..So I had to make the dal fry...I tasted this recipe during a feast at one of our cousin's marriage...But it was mashed moong dal cooked with cabbage..that's cabbage pappu...My aunt alters this recipe and prepares a dry curry....

Hmmm....long introduction to a short recipe....for those moon dal lovers, here's the recipe...


Cabbage - 2 cups (chopped finely)
Moong dal - 1 cup
Onion - 1 (chopped)
Green chillies - 4 (chopped)
Ginger - 1 tsp (grated)
Garlic - 1 tsp (crushed)
Curry leaves - 8-10
Turmeric - 1/4th tsp
Salt - to taste
For tadka/popu - Cumin, mustard seeds, urad dal - 1 tsp each
Oil - 1 table spoon


1. Wash the moong dal. Boil water in a sauce pan and add this moong dal.Let it boil for 5min and then remove from heat and let it stand for about 10min. Drain the water and set the dal aside. The texture of the dal should be seperate.
2. Take the chopped cabbage in a microwave safe bowl, sprinkle some water and microwave on high for 5min.
3. Heat oil in a curry pan. Add the popu ingredients and the curry leaves.
4. When the seeds start spluttering, add the ginger and garlic pieces.
5. Fry for 30 sec and add the green chillies and onions. Saute till onions turn transperent.
6. Now add the turmeric powder, salt and mix well.
7. Add the boiled moong dal and roast for about 4-5min.
8. Finally add the microwaved cabbage, close the lid and simmer for 5min.
9. Remove from heat and serve.

This curry tastes well both with rice and rotis.

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Stuffed Green Chillies/Mirapakaya Bajji with heavenly Tulsi/Basil Tea

If I recollect the golden era of my college days in Vijayawada and try to post them, Mirapakaya Bajjis and Punugulu (Urad dal dumpings) must and shld be dedicated a seperate post... We were a group of 7 girls in our hostel...we used to call ourselves as 7 stars or Dhruvatharalu...kikiki....

Chandu - Bakki n Beauty
Swapna and Me - Gundoos and foodie buffs
Jyothi - Would be Gundoo n Calm
Anitha - Our Heroine
Basu - Monkey
Malathi - Silent n Strict..

Every evening we used to take turns (2 girls on each day)and go to the nearby snacks centre directly from the classes and buy all these stuff.....Mirchi bajji, egg bonda, punugulu and pappundalu (peanut balls)...the other 5 will be eagerly waiting in the hostel...we all then share our qunatities (obviously lion's share to the foodie buffs in the batch) and relish every bite of it, whilst gossipping about the lecturers, guys, movies what not? I wish we all could meet after 10 or more years at some place and share these precious moments again....Miss you all darlings...These bajjis are for you (naaluge chesaanu 7 members ki ela ani already doubt vachesindi kadaa...kikiki...share chesukundamle)

Ok coming to the soon as Suman left to India I started roaming in the city centre...I bid him send off in the bus station and without returning to home I went to the city centre to do some bewaars (useless) shopping...I found the long green chillies (for stuffing) in Tesco....So I thought I'ld make these bajjis...The recipe is very simple...I followed our Hyderabadi girl Cinnamon's Recipe, except that I added sesame seeds and dessicated coconut for stuffing...avoided boiling of green chillies too...Mrs Lazy Bones...that's me...hehehehe..


Besan/Gram Flour - 1 cup
Rice flour - 2 tsp
Green chillies - 4 (make a slit length-wise and carefully remove the seeds, if you don't you'll have to enjoy the pleasure of burning your tongue :P)
Baking Soda - 1 pinch
Salt - to taste
Ajwain seeds - 1/2 tsp
Peanuts - 1 table spoon (dry roast them and grind to a smooth powder)
Sesame seeds - 1 table spoon (dry roast and grind to a smooth powder)
Dessicated coconut - 1 table spoon
Tamarind juice - 1 table spoon
Oil - for frying
Onion - 1 small - chopped finely
Lemon slices - 2


1. Mix the Gram flour, rice flour, ajwain seeds, salt and baking soda in a bowl using water to make a smooth batter. Should be of thick consistency
2. Mix the peanut powder, sesame seeds powder, dessicated coconut, salt with tamarind juice and make a thick paste.
3. Stuff the green chillies with this paste.
4. Heat Oil in a deep bottomed Pan and when the oil is piping hot, turn the flame to medium.
5. Dip this stuffed chillies in the flour batter and drop carefully in the Oil.
6. Fry them until golden brown and place on a tissue to absorb the excess oil.
7. Again make a slit length-wise on these bajjis and stuff the onion pieces and sprinkle some lemon juice.
8. Serve HOT

Tulsi/Basil Tea:

I learned to make this tea from my Aunt in Hyderabad..Very aromatic and tasty beverage.All you need to do is immerse a tea bag and few fresh basil leaves in boiling water and leave for a min. Remove the leaves n tea bag and add a few drops of lemon juice and honey. Mix well and enjoy it with your favourite evening snack.

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Vangi Bath - Baby Augberine Rice

I dunno where this recipe had its origin...But my hubby told me that they used to have it for mid-morning meal in Shimoga (Karnataka) where he did his engineering...He is a big fan of Brinjal/Egg Plant/Augberines...Though I do not like this vegetable a lot, I use it frequently in my kitchen to satiate my hubby's palate...It's a bit painstaking, but for those who love this vegetable, this recipe would be a perfect main dish in their meal.


For the spice powder,
Cumin seeds - 2 teaspoon
Dhania (Coriander seeds) - 1 teaspoon
Blackgram dal - 3 teaspoon
Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Red chillies - 4 small
Cinnamon - 1 inch stick broken into tiny pieces
Cloves - 3-4
Oil - 2 teaspoons

Heat the oil in a skillet and roast all the above ingredients. Take care not to burn them. Cool the mixture and grind into a smooth powder in a mill. Set this aside.

Ingredients for the Vangi Bath:

Basmati Rice - 4 cups (Cooked)
Spice powder - 2 table spoons
Baby Augberines/vankayalu/Brinjals/Baby eggplants - 500gm - cleaned and cut into chunks
Onions - 1 large (sliced)
Green chillies - 5 chopped
Tamarind juice - 1 table spoon
Jaggery - 1 teaspoon (grated)
Turmeric - 1/4th teaspoon
Cashews - 10-12 (dry roasted)
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Curry leaves - 10
Chana Dal - 1 teaspoon
Salt - to taste
Oil - 100ml


1. Heat the oil in a wide bottomed pan. When the oil get hot, add the chana dal, mustard seeds and curry leaves.
2. When the mustard seeds start to splutter, add the green chillies and onion pieces and saute until onions turn transperent.
3. Now add the turmeric and brinjal pieces and close the pan with a lid cook on medium flame for about 5-7min.
4. When the brinjal pieces start turning soft add the tamarind juice, salt, spice powder and grated jaggery and mix well. Add little water if the mixture is too dry. Cook on medium flame for 3-4min.
5. Now add the cooked Basmati Rice and mix thoroughly.
6. Garnish with roasted cashews.

Serve warm with raitha or any low-spice leveled chutney (like coconut chutney). Can be consumed on its own too...

You can add dessicated coconut as a supplement.
I would like to submit this as an entry to the JFI event for August hosted by Sharmi of Neivedyam.

Watermelon Halwa

This's one of my recent cooking experiments...I found these watermelons at a very low price in the local farmer's market and hence purchased one and brought home...I carried it all the way home by walk...And then came up the question..What do I do with it...We both ate few slices each (3-4), but still there was so much left to be stored in the fridge...I made some juice, bottled it up and stored....But still I had 2 large slices left...hmm then I wanted to try some new recipe with watermelon...

My ammamma used to make pumkin halwa...So I started to make something similar with watermelon...Both of them look alike, but there's lot of difference in the inner texture of both these fruits...I realised that I cannot just replace the pumpkin with watermelon to make the halwa..But by then I already started so wanted to go ahead..Finally it came out with a nice color and texture...Taste was lil bit different...It was for sure eatable...Here's the recipe..


Watermelon pieces - 2 cups (cut into chunks)
Suji/Semolina - 1 cup (roast it in a table spoon of Ghee and set aside)
Milk - 2 cups
Sugar - 3/4th cup
Cardamon powder - 1 pinch
Cashews - 5 (roast in ghee and set aside)
Raisins -5 (roast in ghee and set aside)


1. Crush the watermelon pieces and mix the sugar. Take this mixture in a sauce pan and simmer it for abt 3-4min. Do not add water. Set this mixture aside.
2. In a heavy bottomed vessel heat the milk and bring to boil.
3. When the milk starts to boil reduce the flame to low, add the cardamon powder and roasted suji. Stir continously to avoid any lumps.
4. After 1-2min, when the contents start to thicken add the watermelon and sugar mixture to this and mix thoroughly.
5. Decorate with roasted cashews and raisins.
6. Let it cool for 30-40min.

This Halwa can be consumed as it is or can be shaped n cut into thick slices after cooling.

Bell Pepper - Potato Sticks Fry

I fell in love with these colorful Bell Peppers/Capsicum after I stepped out of India...They were not very frequently seen in the local market whilst I was a child...So I didn't taste them for many years...It's only in Hyderbad at my Uncle's house I tasted the capsicum curry for the first time...Attamma used to make capsicum curry mixed with peanuts powder...and they were only green bell peppers...

After I started my own cooking I tried these red/yellow/green peppers in many veggie curries...I love them in salads, chutneys, curries, frys, stuffed recipes...Especially when cooked together with potatoes I simply love that combination...I make this fry very often...not only a feast to the tummy, but with its colorful appearance it's a feast to our eyes too...Here goes the recipe,


Bell Pepper - 2 (1 Green, 1 Red) - Cut intlo long chunks
Potatoes - 2 - washed,peeled and cut into long sticks
Red Onion - 1 - sliced
Green chillies - 3 - chopped
Salt - to taste
Turmeric - 1/4th teaspoon
Oil - 1 table spoon
For Tadka/popu - cumin, mustard, urad dal - 1/2 teaspoon each and red chillies - 2


1. In a saucepan bring water to boil. Add the turmeric powder to the water and some salt. Then add the potato sticks. Leave for 3-4min. Do not over boil the potatoes. Drain the water and keep the potato sticks aside.
2. Heat oil in a Pan and add the urad dal, cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Add the red chillies too.
3. When the mustard seeds start to splutter add the green chillies and onions. Saute them till onions turn soft.
4. Now add the capsicum chunks, salt and mix well. Cook for abt 3-4min.
5. When the capsicum turns soft add the potato sticks and mix thoroughly. Cook for 3-4min and turn off the flame.

Serve hot with rice or chapathis.

Sunday, 12 August 2007

Tricolor Fusilli for Independence Day

Every year on August 15th my mom used to make Rangeela Pooris (Poori with spinach and carrot to get the Red/Green/Cream (white) colors as in our Indian Flag)...We used to call it as India Puri...

I wanted to cook something colorful this weekend...I selected my Fav Italian dish - Pasta...I found pasta spirals in three different colors at Tesco...Red/Green/Cream...I made white sauce at home and cooked these pasta sprials in salted water and mixed with the white sauce. I also added green peas and carrots for nutrients...


Fusilli - 2 cups (Boiled in salted water for 10min and drained)
White sauce - 300ml (you can find the recipe here or in my previous post)
Green peas - 1/2 cup (boiled)
Grated carrot - 1/2 cup
Salt n Pepper - To taste


1. After preparing the white sauce with milk, flour,butter, salt n pepper, turn down the flame to low and add the grated carrot and boiled green peas.
2. Finally add the pre-boiled Fusilli and cook for 3-4min on low.

Serve warm...You can make it spicy by adding chilli powder, crushed garlic...with just salt n pepper this tastes less spicy (my preference in pasta cooking)

Saturday, 11 August 2007

Masala Vada...Left overs can be converted to a delicious curry

Masala Vada/Gaare...when you look at this name what do you think of? Well, before I tasted them, I used to imagine that they are normal Garelu with some masala paste added to them...But this recipe is like our Mysore Bonda with no Mysore in it...:D...It has no ingredients other than ginger to be called as Masala......then where did this name come from?????
I dunno....:(...Masala vada is a famous evening snack in Nellore, my hometown, which is very close to Tamilnadu...and this recipe has been adapted from TamilNadu cuisine(Source of info - Nellore VRC centre daggara mobile-canteen vala)...Just like the punugulu in Krishna Dt, Mirchi Bajji in Hyderabad, So is the Masala vada in Nellore...

Also from Sharmi's first post, I came to know its Tamil name - Parupu Vadai (Parupu is pappu I guess, since we make it with Chana dal pappu, it might have been named like that)..Sharmi, please if you happen to see this post let me know if I am wrong in interpreting its meaning...

Ok then..without much story telling I'll post the recipe..But haaa...I have one more thing to say...In Nellore you'll also find a recipe called Masala vadalu pulusu...these Masala vadalu cooked in tamarind sauce...My mom never made this, but I tasted it in many of my friends' houses...Left over masala vadalu can be used for this recipe...Ok now...end of introduction...


Chana Dal - 2 cups (soak in hot water for 30min and drain)
Onion pieces - 1/2 cup
Green Chillies - 4 (chopped)
Ginger - 1 inch piece (chopped)
Curry leaves - 6-8
Salt - as per taste
Oil - to fry


1. Grind the Chana dal to a semi-ground textured paste (do not add water, if at all it is difficult to grind, add little water)
2. Now add the onion pieces, chopped green chillies, ginger pieces, curry leaves and salt and grind for just 2-4sec. Do not grind them for long.
3. Heat oil in a thick bottomed kadai. When oil is piping hot, reduce the flame to medium high
4. Make patties with the ground paste on your palm and drop them carefully in the oil.
5. Deep fry them and place on a tissue for the excess oil to be absorbed.

Serve hot/warm/cold however you like...crispy, tasty masala vadalu do not need any chutney with this...they taste well on their own...

The story doesn't end here. As I told you, the left overs can be used for a gravy curry...


Masala vadalu - 6-8 (left overs)
Onion - 1 sliced
Tomato - 1 cut into chunks
Tamarind pulp - 1 table spoon
Water - 2 cups
Salt - as per taste
Turmeric - 1 pinch
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp

For tadka/popu,

Oil - 2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - 5-8


1. Heat oil in a wide pan, when the oil is hot add fenugreek, cumin and mustard seeds.
2. When the mustard seeds start to splutter add the curry leaves
3. Now add the onions and saute them till transperent
4. Add the turmeric powder and mix well
5. Add the tomatoes and cook for 2min.
6. Add the salt and Red chilli powder and mix well.
7. Now add the tamarind paste and water and stir well.
8. Cook on medium flame until the gravy/sauce starts to boil.
9. Then add the masala vadalu and simmer for 3-5min.
10. Switch off and close the pan with a lid. Let the masala vadalu soak well (30min) and absorb the tamarind flavour before serving.

Serve warm with hot steamed rice.

Penne in Mushroom n Basil White Sauce

After Indian n Mexican cuisines I like Italian food a lot...especially I get attracted to the creamy texture of few pasta recipes...After seeing Cinnamon's Penne recipe, I wanted to try it with my favourite mushroom n Basil Combo...Since this's the first time I was cooking Pasta at home, I searched for a simple, quick way of preparing the pasta sauce...and I found it here

I followed the white sauce recipe as it is, added crushed garlic pods, dried basil and mushroom mix to the sauce and then the pre-cooked Penne..Here goes the recipe...


Penne - 2 cups (cooked in lightly salted boiling water for 10min and drained)
Milk - 400ml
Plain flour - 1 table spoon
Butter (unsalted) - 1 table spoon
Salt and Pepper - as per taste
Crushed garlic - 1/2 tsp
Basil and Mushroom mix - 1 table spoon (dried) - fresh cut basil and boiled mushroom pieces can be substituted


1. Take a deep bottomed sauce pan, heat the butter in the pan and when it melts add flour and mix well. Cook for 1-2min
2. Now slowly add the milk whilst stirring continously. Let it come to boil.
3. Add the crushed garlic and mix
4. Cook on medium flame for 5-7 min, until the sauce thickens.
5. Add salt and pepper and then the dried basil n mushroom mix to this sauce. Stir continously.
6. Finally add the cooked penne, mix well and simmer for 3-5min.
Tastes great when served hot. I purchased Penne made of durum wheat which has Low GI (Glyceamic Index) and hence good for health....

Saturday, 4 August 2007

Protein Punch - Bean Burgers

I don't remember how I fell in love with North Indian recipes..But whenever we go to a restaurant, all others who accompany me 'll be looking at the South Indian dishes in the menu, but I always used to select some North Indian dish...Rajma (kidney beans) is one of my favourite ingredient...I used to make Rajma pulav during my stay in US...My roomies also loved Rajma so I used to cook it almost 2-3 times in a month...But after getting married I hardly cook Rajma...the reasons are obvious..My hubby has a bitter aversion towards any kind of beans/peas...Kidney beans, Chick peas (Gorbanzo beans), Butter beans, Lima beans...A big NO to all of them....

I purchased Rajma, Chick peas and Green peas last month...I somehow wanted to make him eat these...But the moment he observes me cooking any of these he'ld say that he's not hungry and he'll have just some curd rice...So I decided to cook them without his notice...Yesterday I came back home early and soaked all these together...This morning he was a lion as usual, while I made burgers out of these beans and served them for breakfast...He asked me what burgers are those, I replied him "Veggie Burgers"...He might have taken it fot granted that they were made out of potato/corn flour...the usual veggie burger stuff...He had a bite and then asked me what are these...I again repeated "Veggie Burgers, Veggie Burgers, Veggie Burgers"...He ate silently and after his breakfast asked me how I made them..I explained....He said he liked the taste, but that he cannot eat them very frequently (he thought I'ld use this trick every week now)and no more comments from his side...

I liked the taste a lot, no starchy ingredients, less oil, less fuss...We had them sandwiched with rotis and tomato sauce...They just look like normal veggie burgers, can be served within a burger bun as usual...


Rajma (kidney beans) - 1 cup
Chick peas (Gorbanzo beans) - 1/2 cup
Green Peas - 1/2 cup
Onion - 1 large - sliced
Green Chillies - 5 - chopped
Coriander - 3 to strips - cleaned and cut
Salt - as per taste
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Corn flour - 1 tbsp
Oil - To pan fry the burgers


1. Soak the kidney beans, chick peas, green peas together over night.
2. Pressure cook with water and salt. Let them cool. Drain all the water.
3. Take the onion slices, green chillies and coriander, turmeric powder into a blender and make a paste.
4. Now add these drained beans,peas and blend together.
5. Add cornflour to this mixture to make a thick paste.
6. Heat a pan and take a spoon full of this paste and spread like a burger pattie.
7. Add few drops around the pattie and roast for about 3-5min on each side. You can cook 2-4 patties at a time depending on the size of the pan. Take care that it's cooked well inside too.

Serve them with burger buns, salad and ketch up/mayo....can be served with chapatis preference (as I love chapatis a lotttttt)....

Custard-Dates Cake

I'm back on to my baking spree...From 14th of august we enter into Sravana Masam which's considered very auspicious and many poojas are performed on the tuesdays and fridays of the whole month...we offer authentic Indian Naivedyam (sweets like paramannam, pongali, pulagam etc etc) to God...I'll be cooking (experimenting would be a better word) many of these dishes all thru the month for my poojas...So I thought I'ld bake a cake today and then start off with my Indian sweet dishes in the coming few weeks...

I never tasted the combo of cake n custard until I came to the UK. Chacolate cake topped with custard used to be our staple dessert in thursday's menu at the canteen in LG. I liked the taste a lot...So I decided to try it at home today...But Suman doesn't like chacolate flavour..He's a vanilla lover..So I made a vanilla sponge cake, topped it with whipped cream, custard and dates...Very easy to prepare and tasty too...Here goes the recipe..

For the Custard,

I used readymade custard powder (Bird's Eye). All we need to do is dissolve this powder in hot water, stir continously to remove any lumps, let the mix cool and refrigerate it for a couple of Hrs. The final outcome should be a custard mix of thick consistency (like Jam).

For Sponge Cake,


All purpose flour - 1 cup
Unsalted Butter - 1 cup (melted)
Sugar - 1/2 cup (powdered) - I used brown Sugar
Milk - 1/2 cup
Egg - 1
Vanilla Essence - 1 teaspoon
Baking soda - 1 pinch
Baking powder - 1 teaspoon


1.Pre-heat the oven to 200C
2. Sift flour and sugar together.
3. Take a bowl, add the milk and break the egg into the bowl. Beat thoroughly. Now add the butter to this and beat well.
4. Mix the flour/sugar into this mixture.
5. Add the vanilla essence,baking soda and baking powder and mix thoroughly.
6. Take a baking tray (cake pan), grease the bottom with some butter and dust the tray with some flour.
7. Pour the cake mix and see that it's evenly leveled.
8. Bake this mix for about 20min or until the cake is done.
9. Cool on a wire rack. Cake should be completely cooled.
10. Invert this cake pan onto a plate and carefully seperate the cake from the pan. Set aside.

Now take the custard mix and spread it on the top of the cake. Decorate it with whipped cream and Dates(Sliced). Refrigerate for about 30min for the custard to set. Slice the Cake and Serve.

I haven't done much to prepare this.....Luckily the cake turned out very well and hence the taste was good.