Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I am Back

Sorry friends have been away for long. Been busy at work place and dint have much energy to post anything on my blog, though I had lots of recipes with me. The problem is to have visuals to go with them. For that I need to try them out and them photograph them. Then there is the process of fitting them to blog and then finally writing the recipe. It takes some time and any disturbance in between..I loose the thread...But am back and will be posting lots of recipes..visuals or no visuals...
 One more irritating factor is usually by this time we have our markets flooded with lots of vegetables and fruits. But this year because of natural calamities and other man made ones, we are not able to get all the seasonal vegetables. Either they are not at all available or available but the quality is not good, apart from the prohibitive prices. This happens when one does not think of environmental and other issues and lands especially agricultural lands are usedmindlessly for constructing, residential complexes or other industrial purposes.
As is it is finding land which is rich enough for agriculture is very difficult. Even when one finds it there are other issues of water facilities, what type of crops can be grown etc. Some crops like rice etc require fertile lands and continuous supply of water. Some like cherries, apples require cold climate, where as some require hot of sunshine and humidity. God has bestowed India with a rare boon -a variety of climatic conditions allow a variety of crops to grow here. But then one should be grateful for that and see that this advantage is not lost.
 Any way I will be sharing with you lots of recipes...So keep watching...

Egg Plant or Brinjal

Egg plant or Aubergine or Brinjal is one of the most popular vegetable in India especially so in Andhra; my State.Is known as Vankaya  in Telugu and Baingan in Hindi. Andhra's Gutthi Vankaya Koora-the stuffed brinjal curry is very famous.
This plant is native to India and has been grown since ancient times. It can be small, very huge weighing almost a kilogram (2 pounds approx?), long and thin, oval, medium round etc. The colour also varies from deep purple, light purple green, white, purple and white stripped etc.
We make, curries, chutneys, snacks out of this vegetable. It is either used by itself or in combination with other vegetables like, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, beans, peas and other vegetables.

Some tips:
  • While buying see that the brinjals are fresh and soft. They should be shiny and should not be infested with worms. Usually if you check, the ones with worms have holes in them.
  • Depending on how you are going to cook, you can choose small and round, big or long and thin ones
  • They should be cut just before cooking and should be kept in water to which a little turmeric is added. If these cut pieces are left like that they turn brownish and will taste bitter due to oxidisation.
  •  Sometimes the raw fruit may have a bitter taste in varying degrees. If degorging -a little salt is rubbed on it and after sometime its rinsed off with water is done the bitterness is reduced. However mostly this is not necessary.
  •  It absorbs oil, cooking, fats, sauces and other spices easily , thus helps in making many tasty dishes. However those who are calorie conscious can rub on salt to cut pieces and rinse it off before cooking this reduces the absorption of oil.
  • But one word of CAUTION is, the fruit may trigger allergies, like skin rashes etc, and may enhance the existing allergies. So one should check it out before eating them.
  Green and round ones. Good for stuffed curries or for cutting into pieces and used 
These are the purple coloured, large and long variety. Best for cutting into pieces and used or roasted over fire and used.
Purple coloured, medium sized, round ones best for using them as pieces.
These are the long variety. Best for stuffed curries or used as pieces also.

So I am going to post here many varieties of dishes using these brinjals...Keep watching

Monday, December 14, 2009

Egg Curry

Some one asked for egg curry. Here is one of the recipes. I need to search for more from my kitty of recipes. For the time being, I give you the most simplest and easiest.

Eggs    2
Carrot grated  1 cup
Onions   2 medium sized chopped finely
Green peas  1/2 cup
Green chilies  1 or 2 finely chopped of slit length wise
Ginger garlic paste 1 tsp
Mint leaves or Coriander greens chopped finely 2 tsp for garnishing 
Mustard seeds    1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds   1 tsp
Red chili powder  1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder a pinch
Salt  to taste
Oil 1 Tbsp


  1. Heat  a pan  add oil and when it is hot add mustard and cumin. Fry for a minute, add  finely chopped onions. Fry till they turn pink
  2. Add green chilies and turmeric, mix and fry for a minute.
  3. Now add the ginger garlic paste mix and fry till the paste loses its raw smell.
  4. Add red chili powder, salt and fry for a minute.
  5. Now add grated carrot mix it, cover and cook for five minutes on low flame 
  6. Now add eggs and cook for five minutes. Add peas and now mix it well. 
  7. Cook it for few more minutes on low flame and serve hot with finely chopped mint or coriander garnishing.
  • If you like it add 1/4 tsp of Garam Masala powder. 
  • You can also add 1 -2 tsp of Coriander powder. 
  • You can also use a dash of lemon juice just to add a tangy flavour

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Coriander greens are known as Kothimeera in Telugu and Hara Dhaniya in Hindi. This is one of the mostly used leafy vegetable, besides Curry leaves in India. This is also know as Chinese Parsley or Cilantro.

This is an annual as well as perennial herb and produces the Coriander seeds. Though all parts of the plant are edible, leaves and seeds are mostly used. In India the leaves are used to garnish and also as an ingredient in the curries, soups, chutneys sauces and many other dishes. Apart from that, the leaves are used to make chutney and other dishes. Coriander seeds are known as Dhaniyaalu in Telugu and Dhania in Hindi. These seeds are used in many of the Indian dishes  as a whole but mostly in powder form, in curry powders and other dishes.

Coriander has got medicinal properties. 
  • It is high in A, B1, B2, C and Iron. 
  • The leaves act as stimulant and tonic. 
  • Strengthens digestion, digestive system especially stomach, relieves flatulence.
  • Helps in reducing fever 
  • Clears phlegm
  • Reduces nausea  
  • Helps in reducing, acidity, ulcers, dysentry etc
  • Helps in regulating heavy menustral flow
  • Lowers blood cholestrol and acts as diuretic there by helping in stimulating kydneys
  • Excellent skin tonic. Fersh juice of coriander leaves mixed with turmeric and applied on face every night before going to bed, helps in reducing pimples. 
  • Juice of fresh coriander leaves, a pinch of turmeric and some curd mixed together and applied on face, neck and hands for  an hour and then washed off with a mild soap or chickpea flour, gives you a glowing and clear skin.
I will be sharing with you many a recipes using coriander seeds and greens in the coming posts....

Jayme I think I have answered your doubts now...

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Eggs are a complete meal in themselves.; They are affordable and easy to cook. I gathered from my friends and what I read that eggs can be cooked as follows:

  • Coddled egg
  • Fried egg
  • Boiled egg
  • Omelet
  • Poached egg
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Baked or Shirred egg

Coddled eggs are the eggs that are lightly and gently cooked in water just below the boiling point.  The egg is either cooked in its shell by immersing it  in hot water in a pan or pouring the boiling water on it and let it stand for ten minutes or so. Egg coddlers are available for this purpose which make it easy to cook..

A fried egg is an egg is one which is fried in oil, butter or any other such agent.The eggs are not beaten but allowed to retain the white and yolk as it is. "Over hard" or "hard"  are the ones cooked on both sides until the yolk solidifies, "Over medium" are cooked on both sides until the yolk is thick but still in  a liquid state. "Over easy" or "runny"-"dippy eggs" or "dip eggs".or "treasure eggs" are  cooked on both sides but yolk is in  liquid state. This is also known as  "sunny side down". Sunny side up" -are cooked only on one side-yolk remains uncooked.

Boiled eggs are cooked by immersing in boiling water with their shells. Hard-boiled eggs are where the entire egg is cooked - yolk and the egg white are solidified, whereas Soft-boiled eggs the yolk and sometimes the white too remains in a semi solid state..

Omelet is a mixture of eggs beaten along with water or milk and fried in butter until firm and topped with various fillings of veg and non veg like onions, tomatoes, capsicum, cheese, ham, mushrooms, sausage and a seasoning of herbs and spices.

Poached eggs are ones that have been cooked in very hot but not boiling water, until the egg white has mostly congealed, but the yolk remain soft. A small amount of white vinegar may be added to the water to keep the egg white from spreading out. As no oil is used, calories wise this may be more healthier.

Scrambled eggs are made from beaten whites and yolk along with  cream, butter, oil and milk or water.

Shirred eggs are also known as baked eggs in which the eggs are cooked in a dish with a knob of butter or cream and baked until the white is set, but the yolk remains soft,

Here are some dishes from my collection.They are the Indianised version. But alas I don't have visuals to match since I don't eat them.


Egg       one
Onion chopped finely  25-50 gms
Green chili chopped finely   one
Coriander greens  chopped finely   1Tbsp
Oil  1/2 tsp
Turmeric  a pinch
Salt  to taste


  • Break the egg into a bowl, add chopped onion, green chili, turmeric, salt and coriander greens. Mix well
  •  Grease a cup(stainless steel) with oil. Pour the egg mixture into it.
  • Take a bigger vessel pour some water in it, bring it to boil. Now carefully float the cup containing the egg mixture in it. Cover the cup with a plate and cook for ten minutes or so.
  • When the mixture solidifies, remove from the vessel and serve hot.
  • Your steamed egg is ready.


Eggs     2
Oil  25 gms
Black pepper powder a pinch
Salt  to taste

  • Heat a pan. Add oil.
  • Now hold the egg above the pan, and crack with a knife or a spoon. Hold the egg with both hands and carefully pour the mixture on it with out damaging the yolk
  • When the white of the egg is cooked, sprinkle salt and pepper powder and serve. The yolk remains uncooked this way
  • Those who don't like this can turn it and fry the other side before sprinkling with salt and pepper and serving.This goes well with buttered toast.


Egg   One
Vinegar 2 tsps
Salt  to taste

  •  Pour three glasses of water in a pan, add salt and vinegar and bring it to boil. When the water begins to boil, reduce the heat.
  • Now just crack the egg and carefully put in to the water. See that the white of the egg does not spill in to the water.
  • After the egg is done, remove the shell, sprinkle pepper powder, salt and serve.


Egg   One
Onions chopped finely   25 - 50gms
Black pepper powder    a pinch
Milk   1/2 cup
Butter   25 gms
Bread slices   2

Salt  to taste

  •  Heat a pan. Toast the bread slices on both sides using a little of the  butter and keep aside. in a plate.
  • Now in the same pan add the remaining butter and let it melt.
  • Meanwhile in a bowl break open the egg. Add salt pepper powder and milk. Whisk them well and pour it onto the pan.
  • This mixture thickens almost immediately. Turn down the heat and keep on stirring the mixture. Remove from heat when they are just yet to be done and keep on stirring.
  • Pour it over the slices and serve hot with tomato sauce.
Hope you have like them. Please let me know your comments and suggestions....

    Wednesday, November 25, 2009


    Pongali as is known in Telugu language is known as Khhichdi in North India. This is one of the dishes which is made universally throughout India. The basic dish is same all over India and is made in the same manner. There may be variations in some of the ingredients which differ from  from place to place or from house hold to household. People do add their own ingredients thereby giving a personalised touch and also a distinct flavor.

    Any way the basic ingredients are Rice, Green gram (split and de-husked), Ghee(clarified butter). Other ingredients may differ. This packs quite some nutrition, easy to make and easily digestible as well as cheaper cost wise, as the ingredients are simple. So this was considered to be a poor mans' boon. Infants, old and those convalescing from long term diseases are fed this to get the required strength.
    I am sharing with you the simplest or the basic recipe made in South Indian way. Later on I will post the variations too. So here itt is.

    Ingredients :

    Rice     1 cup
    Green gram (split and dehusked)   1/2 cup
    Green chillies slit length wise or chopped - 2 to 3
    Curry leaves  2 sprigs (separate the leaves from the stems)
    Coriander greens  chopped fine 1 tbsp
    Pepper corns  1tsp
    Ghee 1 to 2 tbsp
    salt to taste
    Sugar  or Jaggery 2 tsp (optional)

    For seasoning:
    Chickpea:     2 tsp
    Black gram:  2tsp
    Fenugreek seeds:   1/4 tsp (optional)
    Mustard seeds:   1 tsp
    Cumin:   2 tsp
    Dried Red chillies 1 (broken into pieces )
    Turmeric powder  1/4 tsp
    Asafoetida   1/4 tsp i.e 1gm

    1. Wash rice thoroughly in water and keep aside.
    2. Roast the green gram lentil on slow fire till it turns golden brown in colour and gives off a fragrance.
    3. Crush the peppercorns slightly.  But if you dont like it very spicy use them un crushed.
    4. Now in a deep pan or better a cooker, heat ghee.
    5. Add peanuts and cashew nuts fry for a minute or two.
    6. Now add the chickpea and black gram fry for a minute.
    7. Add the Fenugreek and mustard seeds, pepper corns and fry for two minutes until the mustard seeds start crackling
    8. Add cumin, red chillies and green chillies along with curry leaves. Add turmeric powder and asafoetida powder. Mix well
    9. Add 3-4 cups of water and bring it to a boil
    10. Add the roasted lentil cover and cook for ten to fifteen minutes on low heat.
    11. Now add the rice, salt cover and cook for another fifteen to twenty  minutes on sim fire till done . In between just check up whether there is enough water. If not add more.
    12. I dont keep the whistle on cooker as sometimes the water content may not be enough. So its easy to check in between.
    13. Once cooked it must be almost like a stew or semi solid and the rice and lentil should be well cooked and mashed.
    14. Serve topped with melted Ghee and garnished with coriander greens.
    15. This can be served with fresh coconut or peanut or tomato chutney fried or roasted papad, pickles curries and curds. Just check my recipes on Chutneys.

    I have used only peanuts to make it more nutritious and this does not look yellow at all since I have used just a pinch of turmeric.

    • This dish is a meal in itself.
    • Green gram is a lentil. When it is split  and de husked it looks light yellow in colour.
    • The ratio of rice to lentil is 1:1/2. But thi can be varied to suit your taste-that is you can have  less of lentil.
    • This is a bit spicy and goes well for Indian tastes. I would make it more spicy by adding more green chillies if you like it hot. But those from other countries who dont eat so spicy, please decrease the amount of green chillies and pepper corns.
    • Adding sugar or Jaggery (I prefer this) balances all the tastes-that is salt and spicy well and blends them in. The quantity of sweetener can also be slightly increased to avoid the spiciness. Some
    • To make it more nutritious and tasty add 1-2 Tbsp Peanuts or Cashew nuts or both. They can be fried in the ghee at the beginning itself. But you can fry them separately and pour over the Pongal just before serving. This way it would be crunchy. 
    • I have suggested low quantity of Ghee. Traditionally more quantity of Ghee is used. It almost drips of Ghee. That way it is quite tasty and gives more energy-but mind you MORE calories as well.
    • Fenugreek seeds helps in reducing gasses especially when one is using the lentils in a dish and also add flavour. But it is optional
    • This is a popular dish with  infants and children. AVOID CHILLIES n PEPPER  or decrease the quantity of spices if serving them or old and convalescing.

    Sunday, November 22, 2009


    Some one asked what Curry leaves are?

    Curry leaves:

    Curry leaves are very popular in India, especially in South India. Every household has at least one tree. We are so used to its taste that even when living in flats, at least one tree is grown in a pot. Its a bit difficult to grow these plants at first. But once they survive, they are very hardy and easy to maintain. Many small plants come up from the roots and from the seeds of the fruit and after sometime, its difficult to get rid of these stubborn plants. You have them growing everywhere.

    This is a small plant either germinated from the seed or from root of a big tree. 
    This is the canopy of the grown tree. The tree is medium sized but has a dense canopy and needs prunning after the fruiting. Flowers are very small and white in colour. The fruit are small and berry shaped. They are first green in colour and later on turn black and drop off. Birds are attracted to these fruit. They eat them and drop the seeds. Now these are a menace because they give way to so many plants and removing those plants has become a night mare for me. They have roots very deep into soil even though they are very small plants. 
    This is its trunk. This has been in my garden perhaps for past ten years or so.
    Curry leaves are known as Karvepaku in Telugu and Kadi Patta in Hindi. Kari means black Vepaku means Neem leaves. The Curry leaves resemble the Neem leaves and are dark green/bottle green almost black in colour. They have a very distinct flavour.  Some of the uses are:
    • They are rich in calcium and vitamin A. 
    • aids in good digestion
    • relieves colic pain and gases
    • improves taste buds
    • helps in stopping nausea and vomiting
    • anti viral, anti bacterial and anti fungal
    • The root, bark and leaves all have medicinal properties. 
    • Ten to twelve leaves if consumed on empty stomach early in the morning helps in reducing wieght and also diabetes.
    They are used in seasoning. Especially down South India. Andhra cuisine is not complete without this leaf. These leaves are used fresh, dried or powdered. Chutney and curry powder is made out of these leaves.
      I will share some of the recipes using these leaves shortly.

      Thursday, November 19, 2009

      Okra Fried Curry

      Okra also known as Lady fingers are very popular in India. Its known as Bhendi(Hindi) and Bendakaya(Telugu). Children love it so much. My niece is so fond of it. I am giving you the simplest curry recipe which can be made in few minutes, easy to digest  and healthy too.


      Okra   250 gms
      Oil       1 Tbsp
      Red chilly powder  1-2 tsp
      Salt  To taste

      Bengal gram  1/2 Tbsp
      Black gram    1/2 Tbsp
      Mustard seeds 1 tsp
      Cumin seeds 1-2 tsp
      Dried red chillies 1
      Curry leaves 2 sprigs
      Asafoetida powder a pinch



      1. Okra should be tender. While buying them check the tips by bending. If they  snap easily then they are tender. If they dont  then they are not good and as they cant be cut easily and are highly fibrous. 
      2. They should not be dipped in water and kept for a long time. If done they lose their tenderness. So just before cutting them, clean them in water or with a wet cloth and dry them thoroughly with a dry cloth. My dad did not know this. Once he cut them and then put them in water to clean. But when he took them out and began to fry, it became all gooey and my mom had a good laugh.  
      3. They should be checked for worms inside. its a problem in India. So keep an eye while you are slicing them.
      4. Slice them as thin or as thick you want. If you want the curry to be crunchy keep the slices thin or else a little bit thick. See mine below.
      5. Separate curry leaves.
      6. Heat oil in a pan. Let the oil heat up. Add bengal gram. Fry for two minutes and add black gram. After a minute or two add mustard, cumin, red chilli broken into pieces. Fry for a minute, add asafoetida powder and curry leaves.
      7. Now add the Okra pieces. Fry on simmer for ten to fifteen minutes. Do not cover while frying. Fry it more and also with more oil  if you want them to be crunchy. If you want them to be tender and soft. dont fry for long but till they loose their raw taste.  In fact my brother likes them half done.
      8. When done, add salt and red chilli powder. Mix well. Fry for a minute. Serve hot with cooked rice.

      • This serves for 2-3 persons.
      • Red chilli powder is optional. If you dont like it too spicy, avoid it.
      • Dont add salt till the curry is fried properly. Or else it will become gooey.
      • 1-2 Tbsp of sour buttermilk is added to avoid the gooeyness.

      Wednesday, November 18, 2009

      Soda Bicarb

      Under this section of household tips I am going to share with you the tips and tricks I have learned form my gran and mom. They are really useful but be careful, first test it and then use please because some may be allergic. Please do check out.

      Soda Bicarbonate known as cooking soda has been used since ancient times.  Let us see the uses ...

      • Used as raising agent for baking of bakery products. Its also used in many of the Indian dishes.
      • Add one Tbsp of soda bicarb to water, boil it and dip the silver to remove their tarnish. You will be amazed to see them shining like new ones.
      •  Make a paste of soda bicarb with warm water and use it clean the tiles on kitchen counters, bathrooms and also ceramic sinks. Just apply the paste and leave for ten minutes and wash with hot water. They will sparkle.
      • You can clean your refrigerator using soda bicarb dissolved in water. Dip a cloth in  this and clean. Wipe with cloth soaked in  clean water and wipe it dry with a dry cloth.
      • Keep a cup with some soda bicarb in refrigerator. It will absorb all odors and keep it clean.
      • When you feel heavy after a meal, or eating oily stuff, add a pinch to a glass of water and drink it. You will immediately feel relieved. A pinch of soda bicarb added to beetle leaves and consumed also relieves heaviness.
      • It can be used to dust the books to remove their musty smell.
      Thats all for now. I will add more if I can recollect some more.

      Monday, November 16, 2009

      The Crispies

      India is famous for its Papads and  Vadias or crispies. Papads (Hindi) or Poppadoms as they are popularly known to the Western world, are called as Appadaalu in Telugu. The Vadis(Hindi) are known as Vadiyaalu in Telugu.. Papads are made out of Black gram flour, spices, oil, made into a dough rolled out into circles and dried in the shade-not direct sun light. There are different varieties either made of black gram or green gram flour or combination of both, or sago, rice flour etc. Spices used contain, black pepper, cumin, red pepper powder etc. The flour along with spices, oil and soda bicarb is kneaded into a dough and needed a lot-in fact beaten by a heavy wooden stick. Its then rolled out into circles and dried.

      Our state of Andhra Pradesh is famous for these things.One of the Papads I like is the one which is thickly coated with sesame seeds. These Papads are roasted over coal fire or deep fried in oil. They are eaten as snacks or with rice.

      In Vaids there are lots of varieties. they are made with same flour-black gram or green gram, or sago, or rice or potatoes. Other things like garlic, onion, tomato puree and many other things are added. But these are just placed on a wet cloth and dried in the sun.

      When the vegetables are abundant in some seasons, these are also cut into slices and dried-like ladys fingers, cucumber, mangoes , bitter gourd and so many others. They are dried in hot sun until crisp and stored. These are known as Varugulu. All these varieties are made in summer when there is very little Moisture in the air. These are deep fried in oil and used with a dash of salt and pepper or red chilly powder, when we dont get vegetables in certain seasons. I will try to share the recipes as and when I make them

      All these are eaten with rice or make a great snack any time one feels like.

      These are the various varieties before roasting or frying.

      This is after frying. Today I served them as tea time snack.

      Here I have served roasted Papads garnished with finely chopped onions, cucumber, tomatoes and coriander greens with a dash of salt, roasted cumin seeds powder or garam masala or rock salt and ofcourse lemon juice. I also use pomegranate seeds for a little bit of sweetness.  You can use finely chopped mint leaves.

      My niece of course, garnished all the crispies after looking at my efforts, drenched everything in tomato sauce and had her fill.  Given a chance she would have used chocolate sauce too..yuck she is crazy about chocolates. So you can use tomato sauce, chilly sauce or any other such sauces if you wish.

      This can be served as starter with any drink for parties or dinners and lunches. Fried ones are tasty but so are roasted ones with less calories.You can get them in any store selling Indian foods.

      Just try them and let me know.

      Wednesday, November 11, 2009

      Cabbage Curry

      This is a very simple curry south Indian style. Very easy to make.


      Cabbage  Chopped: 1 cup
      Onion chopped: 1/4th cup
      Green Chillies chopped: one tsp
      Ginger chopped or grated: 1/2 tsp
      Salt to taste

      For seasoning:
       Bengal gram: 1/2 Tbsp
      Black gram: 2 tsp
      Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
      Cumin seeds: 2 tsp
      Asafoetida powder : a pinch
      Curry leaves: one or two sprigs
      Oil: 1 Tbsp


      1. Heat oil in a pan. add bengal gram and black gram. Fry for a minute. 
      2. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, ginger and green chillies. Fry for a minute.
      3. Now add asafoetida powder and curry leaves.
      4. Add onion and fry till it turns pink.
      5. Now add the cabbage mix well cover and cork for three to five minutes. If required add a little water.
      6. When cooked serve hot with rice. It makes good filling for a sandwich too.

      Cauliflower Curry (Chinese style)

      This is a simple curry in Chinese style very easy and quick to make.
      This goes well with rice or any Indian breads.


      Cauliflower cut into florest:s: 1 Cup
      Onion chopped fine: 1/2 cup
      Garlic chopped: 2 tsp
      Red Chilly garlic sauce: 1 Tbsp
      Tomato sauce: 1 and 1/2 Tbsp
      White Pepper Powder: a pinch
      Spring onions chopped along with greens: 1 Tbsp
      Oil: 1 Tbsp

      1. Clean the cauliflower florets well in hot water. It is better to soak them for ten minutes  in hot water to which some salt is added. This will kill any worms in them.
      2. Now heat Oil in a pan fry onions till they turn pink.
      3. Now add garlic and fry for few minutes.
      4. Add chilly garlic sauce and tomato sauce and fry for a minute or two.
      5. Add the cauliflower florets and salt. Mix well and fry.
      6. Serve hot garnished with finely chopped spring onions.
      7. If you want it with gravy, mix 1/2 Tbsp of corn flour in cold water and add to the curry. Let it cook for sometime time till the sauce reaches the required consistency.
      • You can add a tsp of sugar to make it a little sweet.
      • Chopped ginger can also be used along with garlic.
      • Be careful while adding salt as the sauces contain some amount of salt and also the florets were soaked in salt water.
      • If you want the curry to be crunchy, first fry the florets in oil well, keep aside and follow the rest of the procedure. Add the florets in the last.

      Jeera Rice

      Jeera Rice is a very simple and easy dish. This is almost bland with a subtle flavor of Jeera or Cumin. One thing I want to clarify here is, there are many ways to make a dish. The method and ingredients may vary from region to region or household to household. Traditional methods are always preserved. So, as far as possible I will try to give the traditional method but also the variations. Apart from that, one should try out a dish and then experiment with it to suit  their taste. Unless one experiments, how new dishes  can be created?


      Rice:    500 gms
      Cumin seeds:  1 -1 1/2Tbsp
      Green Chillies: 5-6
      Curry leaves: Fist full
      Garlic Chopped: 1/2 Tbsp

      Black Pepper  powder: 1 tsp
      Salt: To taste
      Oil: 2 Tbsps


      1. Clean the rice well, with water . Add water in 1:1 ratio by measure and cook in a cooker. Remove it from the cooker on cooling, spread it on a plate and keep aside. The grains should not be sticky.

      1. Now in a pan heat oil, add ginger garlic and fry for few minutes till they turn light brown.
      2. Then add the green chillies slit length wise into halves. Fry for two minutes.

      1. Add curry leaves and cumin seeds. fry for a minute. Cumin starts crackling.
      2. Now add cooked rice and mix . Add salt, pepper powder. Fry for few minutes.
      3. A dash of Garam Masala powder can also be added.
      4. Serve hot with any curries with gravy, and raitha (curd mixed with vegetables).

      • Rice should be long grained, preferably Basmathi Rice( a variety) which gives off a subtle fragrance. But I have used ordinary Rice which we eat daily. Its better to use Rice that is at least six months old. New ones have moisture content and become sticky.
      • Clean the rice thoroughly with water before use.
      • While cooking Rice, generally water in the ratio of  1: 1  is used. In some cases 1(rice);1 1/2(water) can also be used. Please check how the rice cooks. The grains should not stick to each other.
      • The quantities of chillies, pepper, garlic can be varied according to taste. Ginger can also be added along with garlic.
      • Use of  garlic can be avoided all together for a different taste
      • Refined oil is best but Ghee or clarified butter is traditionally used and gives a very good taste. 
      • This will serve two  to three persons.

      Monday, November 9, 2009

      Spring Onion Flowers

      I am back with one more Vegetable carving. These days I don't get enough time to do all these things. Just rustling up a passable dinner after a long and tiring day in itself has become difficult for me. Shame on me. Where has all the enthusiasm gone?

      For the spring onion flowers,  we will require;
      • Bunch of Spring Onions
      • Thin Bamboo sticks or wire or dried veins of  coconut leaves 
      • A sharp knife 

      1. Select a bunch of fresh looking spring onions. See that the greens are healthy and not wilted. The onion bulbs should be long and not too fat or round.
      2. Now separate the greens from the bulbs
      3. Cut the root portion off the bulbs
      4. Now place cuts on the base (root side) of the bulb, first in + shape and again X shape taking care not to separate the pieces. That is the cuts should be up to 3/4ths of the bulbs.
      5. Now place the bulbs immersed completely  in cold water and keep it in the refrigerator (not in deep freeze) for half an hour or so. This will open the cut portions apart like petals of a flower. After half an hour or so the bulbs open up like a flower.
      6. Now pass the sticks or wire through the hollow greens of the spring onion. If you use wire you can twist or bend a little to give it a required shape. At the end attach the flowers and arrange in a vase according to your taste.  I have used the dried veins of the coconut leafs cut into required lengths.
      7. Here are the pictures. I think you can follow them. But if you don't let me know please.

      The greens separated form the bulbs and the sticks.
      Pass the sticks through the greens of the spring onion.

      Attach the flowers and arrange them in a vase.

      Or you can just garnish a dish according to your fancy and serve.

      These flowers can be made a day before and stored in refrigerator if you are planning a party. But store carefully without damaging the petals.

      So why don't you try and let me know.

      Thursday, October 8, 2009

      Indian Cuisine-An Introduction

      In order to understand any art, craft or language and especially the cuisine, one has to know something about the region, the people, their traditions, cultures, climatic conditions, their local produce. That way we can get a grip over the style of cooking. At least I believe in this.
      I am going to introduce to you, our Indian Cuisine in a series of posts so that you can learn something of our lives, culture and traditions related to our cuisines.
      Indian cuisine is as diverse as our people, languages and cultures and varies from region to region, culture to culture and even family to family. So we can say that our cuisine is a potpourri of many regional cuisines. Our cuisine has been influenced to a great extent by;
      • Many invaders and traders form other parts of the world since the ancient times, like Turkey, Arab, Persia, China, Central Asia, Europe etc
      • Especially during the colonial period, by Continental cuisine
      • Various religions, beliefs, traditions, cultures, taboos,
      • Especially, the diversity in geographical climatic conditions ranging from tropical, arid, alpine conditions,
      • Different and varied local produce such as vegetable, spices fruits, due to different climates
      • The most important factor being on the one hand, the tolerance, flexibility existing here which allow the intermingling of cultures, yet the taboos and strict adherence to traditions which maintain the purity on the other hand
      Brief History:

      Thus our cusuine is sophisticated and is unique in its own way, due to the use of various spices, herbs and condiments, widespread vegetarianism, a wide assortment of delicacies and cooking styles and techniques.
      As early as the Indus Valley Civilisation, wheat , barley, sesame, brinjals, etc were known to Indians. In the later periods, turmeric, cardmom, black pepper, mustard and many other herbs were known to the people. It is believed that many recipes were used during the early Vedic times,when food consisted of agriculture produce, hunting and forest produce and included vegetables,fruits, grains, honey, meat, fish and dairy products, etc. Later as people embraced the Ahimsa or non violence, vegetarianism became wide spread, strengthened by Buddhism and Jainism.

      It is believed that, the invasions Arabs, Persians and others new vegetables, like potatoes, tomatoes and chillies were introduced as well as some baking techniques. Mughlai Cuisine which is rich and lavish, was the result of the blending of Indian and Islamic cuisines which led to, tandoori style of baking or cooking, dishes like Biryani, Pulao, Kebabs, Nans, using of fruits like the melons, peaches, apricots, walnuts, almonds etc.

      Indian Food-Basic Elements:

      Here are the basic elements of Indian cuisines which are frequently used in general. When I am dealing with specific regional cuisines I will go in depth.
      • Staples-Rice, Wheat (whole wheat flour), Jowar, Bajra, Corn and Ragi
      • Pulses- Bengal gram (chana dal), Red gram (masoor), Pigeon pea (tuvar), Black gram (urad), Green Gram (moong)
      • Oils-Ghee, Butter, Peanut oil, Mustard oil, coconut oil, Gingely oil and Hydrogenated vegetable oil.
      • Mostly vegetable oils are used for cooking.
      • Spices-Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cloves, Nutmeg, Saffron, Turmeric, Cumin, Fenugreek, Coriander seeds, Caraway seeds, fennel seeds, dried red chillies(peppers), black pepper, dried ginger, fresh ginger, Garlic, Bay leaf, coriander greens, Fenugreek greens, Mint leaves and Curry leaves, fresh and dry coconut, dates, cashes, almonds, raisins and many more.
      In most of Northern and Western India daily fare consists of Breads roasted on hot pans or fire called Rotis, Naans, Kulchas made of whole/refined wheat flour along with curries made of vegetables or non vegetarian, like chicken mutton etc, chutneys, pickles, milk, curds, buttermilk, ghee, butter,Cottage cheese (Paneer). Tea is the most popular beverage.

      In Southern Eastern and parts of Western India, daily fare consists of mainly, Rice, veg and non veg curries including sea food and coconut in coastal areas, Sambar and Rasam (something like soup), Curds, buttermilk, ghee, pickles, chutneys and Poppadoms. Most widely used beverage is Coffee.

      Sweet dishes, desserts, fruits and other snacks etc are of course consumed through out India. Some are common through out but some of the delicacies are unique to particular regions. However, its common sence that the delicacies or dishes will contain those ingredients which are mostly produced locally.

      This is a typical South Indian Masala (spices) Box, containing split bengal gram, split, black gram, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, dried red chillies, turmeric, red pepper powder, curry leaves. Whats missing here is the Asafoetida. All these are used for seasoning the dishes.

      Here you can see dried ginger in the center, bay leaf, cloves, onion seeds, cinnamon, green and yellow cardamom and black pepper. These are only a few of the many spices we use.
      Red peppers and garlic exposed to the sun for few minutes before pickling. Andhra Pradesh is very famous for its pickles which includes mango and red chilly pickle.

      So in the next post I will discuss various regional cuisines....till then.....

      Wednesday, October 7, 2009


      I have been busy during these last few days, and could not post any recipes as yet.

      But I am going to shortly. What I would like to do is post recipes of course but would also like to discuss our spices and condiments and local produce, our traditional methods of cooking so that my friends across the seas would get to know more. My only problem would be that I don't have enough of pictures to go with my posts and I cannot cook many dishes at once to get the pictures. Any way i am trying to tackle that issue as best as I can.

      Friday, October 2, 2009


      Welcome to my blog. As a child and a teenager I was interested in eating a variety of dishes, but was never interested in learning what went into them or how they were cooked. Since I was from a typical South Indian Brahmin family, we had completely a vegetarian meals, no meat, no fish, no garlic and on religious occasions not even onions.

      My mother and maternal grandmother were great culinary experts. No they did not learn or educated themselves in some fashionable culinary institutions. They learned it from their mothers and grandmothers, the recipes handed down over the generations and of course traded recipes with their friends. But they were devoted to their families, had complete interest in what they were doing, even every day simple cooking.

      After I joined college, my group of friends consisted of girls from various regions of India. This is when my taste buds for the first were exposed to the beautiful and varied cuisines of other regions of India. Every day we used share our lunch boxes and I used to play this little game of guessing the ingredients that went into the various dishes. My accuracy was nearly 95% surprisingly for a person who could not even boil water.

      My friends were being trained in all the skills a home maker should possess as is a tradition in India and were fairly good cooks. So I started learning the recipes from them, as by then I was hooked properly. I used to try them out on week ends and experiment on my friends and family. First I tried the recipe as it was. Then as I gained confidence I started experimenting and creating new ones. With in an year I was a big hit with my family and friends.

      Till today my favorite hobby is trying out all the new dishes that I come across at least once and if I like them I guess the ingredients and cook them till I succeed. I have collected  a number of recipes from various cuisines; Oriental, Chinese, Thai, French, Continental and as well as from India like Tandori, Mughalai, Gujarathi, Rajasthani, Andhra, Hyderabadi, Chettinad and others.

      Many a time I have helped my friends by sharing the recipes they wanted. They are the ones who have motivated me to start this blog since they keep reminding me that "Knowledge shared is Knowledge multiplied". I will also be learning more from you by sharing. So keep watching my blog.....