Sunday, November 29, 2015

Rajasthani Gunda Methi Recipe

For Recipe, please click - Rajasthani Gunda Methi Recipe

Another special, seasonal and authentic Rajasthani vegetable is Glue Berry/Cordia/ Lasode/ BirdLime or commonly known as 'Gunda ki Sabzi ' ( गून्दा की सब्ज़ी )

Fresh Gundas are available during summer season at most of the Vegetable markets in Rajasthan and many Indian Grocery Stores in United States. I personally bought fresh Goondas from "Patel Cash and Carry" while living in New Jersey and from "Laxmi Palace" while living in Richmond, VA.

Gunda is a kind of wild berry with a very sticky seed inside, that needs to be removed. These can be boiled and de-seeded OR else, Gundas can be cut by hitting a pestle on the gunda and splitting it halfway and then removing the seed using a pairing knife dipped in Salt Water. Salt helps to remove the stickiness so after cutting a few gundas, just dip your fingers in salt and rub them together before rinsing them under water. (You can use gloves while cutting the gundas)

Although Gunda/ Cordia is a very sticky vegetable. Its stickiness disappears while cooking on a slow flame for a long time. It can be made in a large amount and kept in the refrigerator. It can be then reheated and consumed within a week.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


For me Diwali means lights,crackers and Gujiyas. Decorating your house with beautiful candles and diyas has always been my passion.
Though after moving to US, I was amazed to see so many different types and shapes of candles. And let me tell you, there are no power cuts here��. So my love towards candles is kind of fufilled throughout the year, and a little more on the occasion of Diwali.
Also, I don't miss playing with crackers here, as I have seen the world's best Fireworks show on many American Festive occasions. Love their creativity. 

The only item that I was missing was "Gujiyas". Still remember my childhood days, when the entire family worked together to make big batches of Gujiyas during Diwali days. Though Mom is always the Master Chef in every house, but we all, me, my grandparents, my Dad, my brother, used to help her in small small things.
I so much want to do that all over again. Keeping all the sentiments and emotions in my head, I already started planning to be at home for the next year Diwali. So I dropped the idea of making Gujiyas this time and thought of preparing an easy to prepare sweet Malpuas.
I read somewhere "Malpuas make you Happy"
Also I had been wanting to make this for a long time

Here is a completely different way of making Malpuas

Ingredients Required

1 cup All-Purpose Flour (Maida)
3/4 cup Semolina (Soozi)
3/4 cup of Jaggey or Raw Sugar
1/2 Cup Milk (Or enough to make a smooth runny batter.)
1-2 teaspoon Fennel Seeds (Saunf)
1 teaspoon Yogurt
A pinch of Salt and Black Pepper
A pinch of Baking Soda
2 teaspoon of Hot Clarified Butter (Ghee)
Oil for deep Frying
7-8 Cashews and Pistachios for Garnishing

Starting off-
In a bowl, sift through the Flour and Baking Soda together. Add Semolina, Salt and Black Pepper. Mix well.
Now, add in the Milk. Pour it in a bit by bit. You need just enough milk to make this a smooth runny batter. Fold it all in. At this point, you can add 2-3 teaspoon of Hot Clarified Butter or vegetable oil to the batter. Something about, it makes it smoother, moist and flavorful. 
Let it rest for 7-8 hours or overnight. 
You will be adding the crushed Fennel Seeds and Cardamom just before frying the Malpuas.

Now, take a non stick pan, a skillet, or whatever catches your fancy. Pour in enough amount of oil to deep fry Malpuas one by one. Drop in a small dollop of the batter. Make it a thin, round shape.
As the batter is runny on its own, it by itself will roll out into a circle, just help it get there. Let it be for about 30 seconds or so, and soon you’ll notice the edges going brown.
Once edges are brown, it is time to flip! Somewhat like this - 

So gorgeous. *Sigh* Let the other side cook for about 30 more seconds, and take it out. Repeat till the batter exhausts. Garnish each n every Malpua with crushed Cashews and Pistachios. Then, its time to stack em’ up

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Crunchy Diamond Cuts - NamakPare / Shankarpali

Its festival time. My most favorite festival, Diwali. It all about lights and love; sweets and snacks. Just like my mom, I do try to make many different varieties of snacks and a little batch of sweets during the Diwali season. Back home in India, she makes big batches of savory snacks in a wide heavy-bottomed skillet, full of oil for deep frying. Here in Us, I make small batches just enough for me, my husband and/or close friends. 
Among all the savory snacks, this crunchy, salty, flaky "NamakPare" is my most favorite. I can finish an entire plate in no time. Tastes heaven with a hot cup of tea.
Very easy to prepare. You can also make in big batches and store for more than a week in an air-tight container.

Ingredients required - 
All purpose flour (Maida) – 1 cup; Semolina (coarse sooji or rava) – 2 tablespoons
Carom seeds (Ajwain) – 1/2 teaspoon; Baking Powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Salt – to taste; Oil – 2 tablespoons + more for deep frying
Warm Water – as required to make a stiff dough

Utensils required - 
Glass bowl for mixing; Flour Sifter; Rolling Board and Pin; Slotted Spoon; Heavy-bottomed skillet for deep-frying

How to prepare - Oh! its so easy
Sift All purpose flour in a mixing bowl; Add Semolina, Salt, Baking powder and Carom Seeds. Mix well.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil to smoking point. Let it cool for a minute. Always be careful when it comes to hot oil.
Add oil to the flour mixture; Rub well till you get a crumbly texture. 
Now add a little water and start kneading the dough. The texture should be semi-soft, neither tight nor soft.,,,somewhere in the middle.
Cover the dough and let it rest for at least 15 - 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, knead the dough once again. Divide it into 2-3 equal portions.
Flatten it out between your palm before you start the Rollin part. 
Roll it into a big circle (about 9-10 inch in diameter). 
Cut into desired shape using sharp knife or pizza cutter. Let the cuts dry over kitchen cloth for some time. This adds a little more crispiness. 
Heat oil in a heavy bottomed frying pan.  Once oil is hot, add few pieces of Namakpare in the oil. Do not over crowd them.
Fry from both sides till it become golden brown and crispy over medium-high heat. 
Remove it to the paper towel lined plate.
Let it cool completely, about 20 minutes. And it will become more crispy. Once cooled down completely, you can serve them or store them in a airtight jar or container. Enjoy anytime!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Kheer (Rice Pudding)

Payasam or Kheer or Payesh or Rice Pudding is an essential dish made during festivals and celebrations in India anytime of the year. A wholesome homemade dessert with endless variations of flavor - saffron, cardamom, raisins, almonds, pistachios, nutmeg, cinnamon, rosewater.. Even the forms of Kheer vary - it can be made with rice, vermicelli, tapioca, semolina..Different regions in India encounters different versions of Kheer....common is the LOVE associated with this sweet dish.

I have been a die-hard fan of Kheer since my childhood....I still remember my birthday celebrations...whatever may be the menu for the evening party...but we have to start our day with Kheer. Present days...whenever I am with my Mom..I am like everyday craving for Kheer and my Daddy always wanting my Mom to add a lot of Saffron and dry-fruits in the Kheer preparation :)
Even my Husband and my little Brother will eat Kheer only when it is full of dry fruits and saffron. I can eat Kheer of any type..anytime...

As I said earlier...different regions have different versions of Kheer...similarly the method of preparation also varies from region to region...and below is the recipe of my Mom's method of cooking Kheer...

  • 4 cups whole Milk
  • 2 tablespoons Basmati Rice, soaked in cold water for 30 minutes and drained
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Almonds -  blanched, peeled and split
  • 2 tablespoon Cashews, finely chopped lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon Pistachios, finely chopped lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup Raisins, soaked in 1/4 cup warm milk for half an hour
  • 1/2 tsp Cardamom powder/ 3-4 Cardamom Pods
  • A large pinch of Saffron threads, soaked in lukewarm milk for at least half an hour
  • 1 tablespoon Ghee (preferred more than butter)  
    • Boil milk in a saucepan, and remove from heat {My mom always boil milk just before start preparing Kheer}
    • Heat ghee in a heavy bottomed saucepan or non-stick pot, add rice and roast over low heat until the rice begins to change its color, approximately 5-7 minutes
    • Add the milk and sugar. Increase the heat to medium-high and let it come to a boil.  Give it an occasional stir to ensure the rice does not stick to the bottom. Also take care not to let the milk burn. Even a little burn spoils the milk.
    • Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the milk has reduced to half and the rice has become soft not mushy. Keep stirring often. This process of reducing milk with rice and sugar takes approximately 30-35 minutes with occasional stirring.
    • Add the rest of the ingredients except cardamom ; almonds, pistachios, cashews, raisins and saffron with milk. Give it a stir until combined and cook another 2-3 minutes. 
    • Add cardamom powder and remove from heat.
    • Serve hot or cold.

    Good chefs always taste their Recipe.....Go Ahead....And say Wow.

    Wednesday, August 26, 2015

    Fluffy American Pancakes with warm Maple Syrup

    A fluffy inner crust and a crispy outer crust makes the perfect Pancake. 
    America's favorite breakfast. 
    Once you prepare them from scratch, you'll never look back to those boxed pancakes mixes - as the basic pancakes preparation requires hardly any special ingredient or extra effort. 
    I have used the basic traditional recipe for pancakes that can be further modified by adding any types of fillings or fruits or nuts. 


    • 1 cup All purpose flour
    • 1 tsp Baking Powder
    • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
    • 1 cup Buttermilk
    • 1/4 tsp Salt
    • 1 Large Egg
    • 2 tablespoon Brown/White Sugar
    • 1 cup Buttermilk
    • 2 tablespoon melted, unsalted Butter
    • 1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract
    • Honey or Maple Syrup for drizzling

    1. Combine the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt) into a large bowl and whisk a little.
    2. Mix the wet ingredients (egg, buttermilk, melted butter, vanilla extract) in a separate bowl.
    3. Now mix the wet ingredients into the dry. Mix well and set aside for 1 hour. { I prefer using electric mixer at this point to make sure no lumps are left in the mixture.}
    4. Heat the non-stick griddle until a few drops of water tossed onto the surface ran around frantically. ( If the water jumps off the griddle, then turn down the heat. If the water just sits there, increase the heat.) Now, melt a pad of butter onto the griddle to lubricate it. and rub the butter on it. { There should not be too much fat on the griddle or you'll be frying the pancakes.}
    5. Then pour a medium ladle full of batter steadily onto one spot until it forms a near perfect circle. Let still for 1 minute until bubbles covered the pancake surface and begin to pop. Then flip the pancake and cook for 1 more minute. { Don't press the pancake.}
    6. Stack the pancakes and pour the warm maple syrup/honey and serve hot.
    7. If you need to make a lot of pancakes, you can stack them on a plate in a 200°F oven.
    8. Extra pancakes can also be frozen in an airtight container.

    Good chefs always taste their Recipe.....Go Ahead....And say Wow.

    Sunday, August 16, 2015

    TIRANGA PULAO { Tri Color Pilaf }

    Happy 69th Independence Day INDIA
    August,15th 2015

    Going down the memory lane, how we use to celebrate the Independence Day during our childhood days. Flag hoisting ceremony, participating in various cultural programs, getting sweets and a half-day holiday, was more than enough for happiness and excitement.

    The National Flag is hoisted by the Prime Minister of India on the ramparts of Red Fort, Delhi after which his speech is followed.

    People celebrate this auspicious and significant day with full patriotism and enjoyment.

    Families and friends meet and have dinner together or go out to have fun or just relax at home watching old or new patriotic movies.

    At my home, my father used to bring special sweets, called 'Jalebi' with some savory snacks, complimenting each other and the occasion. A late sweet n savory breakfast with family and friends, accompanied by my Mom's special dish - Basmati Rice Pulao, was a fixed routine of celebrating Independence Day at my place.

    Till date, the same routine is followed at my home, back in India.

    To relish the beautiful memory and taste of my Mom's Pulao, and to enjoy something different as food, I start my day from my kitchen making an item that reflects "The Colors of India"

    Today, I prepared a Colorful Pulao with Shrimp Red Curry.

    An easy recipe - Basmati Rice prepared in three parts - with Green Peas Paste, with Tomato Paste and Plain White Rice.

    Shrimp curry, prepared with Coconut milk and veggie medley.

    Green Peas Paste and Rice

    ~Blend a handful of frozen Green peas with one one small size tomato, few green chilies and a little water.
    ~Heat butter/oil in a non-pan. Add the Peas paste and pre-soaked Basmati Rice, with a little salt.
    ~Add water. Cover and cook till rice is done

    Tomato Paste and Rice

    ~Blend a medium size Tomato to purée.
    ~Heat butter/oil in a non-stick pan. Add a little Red- Chili Powder and the Tomato paste with the nect bunch of pre-soaked Basmati Rice and a little salt.
    ~Add water. Cover and cook till rice is done.

    We all know how to prepare Plain white Basmati rice.

    Shrimp Red Curry- Recipe Coming soon

    Friday, August 7, 2015

    Egg Spinach Curry

    Honestly, I’ve never had Spinach Egg Curry in my life, also never heard of it, so I’m not quite sure how the idea came to me. May be, the idea of making Palak-Paneer (Spinach-Cottage Cheese) or Saag-Chicken (Chicken in Spinach Gravy) or a plain Egg Curry, led me to an idea of pairing these two nutritional ingredients, Spinach and Egg, for a super delicious, healthy meal. 

    It can be served with Naan(Indian Bread) or white Basmati Rice. 

    • Fresh Spinach – 1 10 ounce bag (washed, boiled, & grinded)
    • Ghee (Clarified Butter) - 1/4 tsp
    • Cage-Free Organic Eggs – 8 (boiled & peeled)
    • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Cooking) – 2 tbsp
    • Cumin Seeds – 2 tsp
    • Green Chilies – 2-3 (Your heat intake capacity)
    • Garlic – 4 big size cloves (minced)
    • Ginger – 1 inch piece (chopped)
    • Onion – 2 medium (chopped)
    • Tomatoes – 2 (Pureed)
    • Red Chili Powder – 1/2 tsp
    • Coriander Powder – 3 tsp
    • Boiled Water – 1 to 1 1/2 cups
    • Garam Masala – 1 tsp
    • Salt, to Taste

    • Hard Boil Eggs. Peel and keep aside. 

    • Preparing Spinach - Wash thoroughly the spinach. Drain water; Heat a few drops of Ghee (Clarified Butter) in a wide non-stick skillet. Add whole Green Chilies and Spinach leaves. Sprinkle a little water and cover. No need to stir. Turn the heat to medium-low. Let it cook for 4-5 minutes. Turn off heat and wait till cool. Once cooled, blenad to smooth paste with a pinch of salt.
      **Adding Green Chilies to Spinach paste gives a punch to bland taste of Spinach, specially for Indian Curries**

    • Preparing Eggs - Heat EVOO in the same Non-stick skillet. Lightly saute the boiled and peeled Eggs in oil. This sauteing of Eggs gives a light-golden color to the outer layer of eggs. 
      **The sauteing part of boiled eggs is completely OPTIONAL**
      **Another way to give a light-yellow color to eggs - Boil water. Remove from heat. Add a pinch of turmeric or Saffron water. Add boiled and peeled eggs. Let it rest for few minutes and drain. It will give a light yellow color and a soft-fluffy texture to hard-boiled eggs**

    • Gravy - Heat EVOO in the same skillet. Add Cumin Seeds, minced Garlic, chopped Onions. Fry till onions gets a nice brown color. Add Ginger Paste. Fry for 1 more minute. 
    • Lower the heat, add Red-Chili and Coriander powder with a one tbsp of water. Fry the paste for few minutes.
    • Add Tomatoes. Cover and let tomatoes cook nicely. The paste should start leaving oil from sides. 
    • Add pureed Spinach and Salt. Mix well and add boiled water, if required. The curry should not be too much diluted. Cook it uncovered on medium-low flame for about 4-5 minutes. 
    • Add Eggs. Mix them well with Spinach paste. Let simmer for another 4-5 minutes, covered. Turn off the heat. Add 3/4 tsp of Ghee (Clarified Butter) for an extra taste, optional though.
    • Serve hot with Naan (Indian Bread) or white Basmati Rice. 


    Wednesday, April 22, 2015

    Mumbai Pav Bhaji - Street-Style

    PAV = BUN
    BHAJI = Mashed boiled mixed vegetables (mainly Capsicum, Potatoes, Peas, Tomatoes, and Onions) cooked in spices and straddled by a slab of butter.

    It's a simple dish, cooked with many different ways and flavors. 

    My version of cooking Pav Bhaji is not that simple, takes a lot of time and patience. But let me tell you, it comes directly from the Street Vendor of Mumbai Juhu Beach. 

    If you’re visiting Mumbai and are really looking to get a taste of the city, avoid trawling Colaba's tourist spots for fry-ups and cereal, try breakfast the way true-blue Mumbaikars have it. From students to businessmen, everyone has their favorite grab-and-go Pav in Mumbai. 
    It is a crime to have these in Air-Conditioned restaurants, best had from the alfresco style stalls on the city streets and at Juhu Beach. 
    Mumbai undoubtedly makes the most finger-licking Pav Bhaji in the world! Bhaji is mashed boiled mixed vegetables (mainly Capsicum, potatoes, peas, tomatoes, and onions) cooked in spices and straddled by a slab of butter. The Pav served with it is shallow fried in even more butter and served with lemon and chopped onions. Squeeze some lemon on the bhaji and dig in with your fingers. It’s a week’s worth of butter but worth every calorie!

    Keeping all above points in my mind, one beautiful smokey morning I was wandering at beachside stalls from one Pav Bhaji Vendor to another, and finally I selected one, who was just about to open his stall. In few minutes, everything was ready....Com'on, these vendors can challenge any good chef in the means of time and taste. I started chatting with him as if, he's one of my 'lost n found' friend, as seen and initiated by dear husband. 

    To my surprise, he told me NOT TO ADD CAULIFLOWER to the Bhaji, and, the reason behind that is Cauliflower florets can overcome any other veggie used for making this dish. I was more than surprised, as I have always seen my Mom adding 4-5 Cauliflower Florets while preparing the "Bhaji"

    Keeping all the surprises at one end, I saw that vendor making the whole Bhaji, from scratch, 2-3 times....yeah, I was there standing near his stall for more than one hour, and my husband was like, are you planning for a joint business. HaHaHa... :-)

    Never mind, it tasted awesome and kind of "Paisa Vasool" typo..

    It was difficult for me to erase my Mom's version and adopt his "no cauliflower" version. But then too I tried his version, and the TASTE was like above all my expectations JUST TOO GOOD. 
    That was the day, I bookmarked the recipe and always try to make the same version of not adding cauliflowers. Though never got chance to thank that Vendor, but my Mom-Dad, my Husband and my complete family likes this tastes better than any other Pav Bhaji we had till date. 

    So here is my version of Pav Bhaji recipe........

    • 2 big size Green bell peppers, finely chopped
    • 4 big size Potatoes, boiled and coarsely mashed
    • 1 cup Green Peas, boiled
    • 3 medium Tomatoes, finely chopped
    • 2 medium Onions, finely chopped
    • 2 teaspoon Pav Bhaji masala, heepful and readymade
    • 1/2 tsp Red chili powder
    • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
    • 7-8 Big Cloves of Garlic, freshly chopped or pressed using a Garlic-presser
    • 1 teaspoon Ginger Paste
    • 1/2 tsp Kasoori methi powder, ready-made
    • 1 tsp Lemon juice
    • 1 bunch fresh coriander / cilantro leaves, chopped
    • Salt to taste
    • 1 pack of Dinner Rolls("Pav")
    • 6-8 tbsp salted Butter
    To Garnish : 1/2 cup finely sliced Onions and Lemon juice.

    1. In a large heavy bottomed flat saucepan, melt 1/2 tsp butter and add chopped bell peppers. Saute on high heat for 3-4 minutes. Add little water and cover the pan to half cook the peppers, for 5-7 minutes.
    2. Add boiled peas and fry with half-cooked peppers for 5-7 minutes. 
    3. Add chopped tomatoes, again sauté on high heat for 5-7 minutes.
    4. Add ginger paste, chopped Garlic and coarsely mashed Potatoes. Mix well. Add red chili powder, turmeric powder, 2 tbsp butter and mix everything stirring continuously for 3-4 minutes. Keep mashing the vegetable using the potato/vegetable masher. This requires a lot of patience. 
    5. Add half cup of water to the vegetables. Cook on medium flame for 7-8 minutes with stirring and mashing of the veggies here and there. The consistency should not be very thick. If required add more water.
    6. Add 2 tsp Pav-bhaji masala, salt and chopped coriander. Sauté and mash till the spices start to give out a wonderful aroma. Turn off the heat and keep this mixture aside in a separate bowl.
    7. In the same pan melt 2 tbsp butter, add chopped onions, 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste, red-chili powder, 2 tsp Pav-bhaji masala and some lemon juice. Saute for 2-3 minutes .
    8. Add the vegetable mixture to the above masala. Now this mixture requires some more patience. Continously stir and mash the bhaji to get the real taste. 
    Tip: The Bhaji should not look like a gravy instead it should be granular. The granular texture is achieved by frying the bell peppers and onions properly.
      To prepare the "Pav" or Dinner rolls:
      1. Slit the buns/rolls into two keeping the base intact.
      2. Melt butter in a flat pan and add 1/2 tsp Pav-bhaji masala. Spread this butter with masala evenly all over the pan with the help of a spatula.
      3. Arrange all the buns on the pan. Roast both the sides as well as the inner surfaces of buns on the butter.
      Serve the "Pav" or rolls with the "bhaaji" and a lemon slice. Garnish with chopped onions and a chunk of butter.

      Good chefs always taste their Recipe.....Go Ahead....And say Wow.

      Thursday, April 2, 2015

      Beat the Heat - Carrot, Orange and Ginger Zinger

      It's springtime, the air is fresh, the sun is out. Time to sit out on the balcony (or patio, or fire escape...) with a glass of something cold in hand.  But if you don't drink alcohol or wanna try something fresh and fruity, you can enjoy the sweet pleasures of a spring cocktail via mocktail.  

      This idea of punching Orange with Carrots came to my mind just while glancing through my refrigerator, There lies a single-alone-tired Orange with a bunch of tired Carrots. Combining both with a hint of fresh Ginger - & here comes the punch. 

      Prep time: 5 mins
      Total time: 5 mins 
      Serves: 2


      1-2 medium Carrot; I large Orange; a bite size Ginger; Sugar(optional); Water(optional); a small pinch of Salt; Juicer/Blender


      Wash your three ingredients thoroughly, even if you're using organics, scrub the carrots with a knife edge to get rid of any dirt and grime; Cut off carrot tops; Peel oranges and break them into 1/4 halves; Juice the Carrots first, then add Oranges and then Ginger; Add sugar, salt and water to taste; Serve at room temperature or chilled. 

      You can even blend the ingredients in a bender and strain over glasses; Juice with fiber.

      Tuesday, February 17, 2015

      Sabudana Vada with a Hot Cup of making Tea { Tapioca Fritters }

      Fast or Feast!!!!!!....My husband is often confused between these two events whenever I am fasting :)

      There are many special cuisines that are made just for the fasting days. Whether its Janmashtami, Navratris or fasting has always been a feast day, a day of celebration, for me as well as others. Different food, very light on stomach, with less spices and more one can say no.

      Crispy and Crunchy Sabudana Fritters are one of my favorite tea-time snacks on my fasting days. Despite the fact that it is deep fried, it is actually very light and sumptuous.

      Now these Fluffy Fritters goes perfect with a cup of hot tea. 


      • 1 cup Sabudana /Sago
      • 1 Potato, boiled, peeled & mashed
      • 1/2 cup Peanuts, roasted & crushed coarsely
      • 1-2 Green chillies, slitted
      • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
      • ¼ cup Rajgira flour (optional)
      • 2 tablespoons Chopped Coriander
      • Salt to taste
      • Oil to deep fry

      1. Wash the sabudana 2-3 times. Add water to soak and soften, keep the level just about 1-2 cms above the sabudana level. Cover and keep 6-8 hours. I normally soak it overnight.
      2. Mix the sabudana along with all the other ingredients and knead lightly to form a soft dough.
      3. Divide the mixture into 12 equal portions. Shape each portion into a round ball and flatten slightly.
      4. Deep-fry the vadas in hot oil on medium heat until they are golden brown in color and drain on absorbent paper.
      5. Best serve with hot tea or any kind of chutney.

      Good chefs always taste their Recipe.....Go Ahead....And say Wow....

      Kitchen Chronicles – Only Vegan hosted by Cook's Joy

      Ramadan Friendly Recipes.

      What is with my cuppa and Nupur's page

      Friday, August 15, 2014

      Independence Day Tricolor Idli (Tricolor Steamed Pancakes) - yeah! I know my prompt recipe :-)

      Recipe Recalled. Old Recipe, New Pictures
      Again, on the occasion of India's 68th Independence Day, I tried my hands on TRICOLOR IDLI.
      Came out great.
      For recipe - Click Here

      Tuesday, July 8, 2014

      EBS PIZZA - My style

      No no no...not a new pizza chain, it's a home-baked, easy to make, very quickly prepared PIZZA or more of a crustless QUICHE or Breggie OMELETE. 

      Bread + Veggie = Breggie :)
      EBS Pizza = EGG-BREAD-SPINACH Pizza

      There are hundreds of "Quiche" recipes available on internet, even in my blog, but this recipe, in a very simple form, I have learnt from my Mother-In-Law. How quickly she use to prepare, even now, this most loving dish of the family in minutes. A simple Aluminium Wok and a flat spatula can also make wonders in the kitchen.

      With very little variations and more veggies, this is a beautiful PIZZA perfect for breakfast or brunch.

      MIx, Mix, Mix and Bake. You can do variations, as I have done in my MIL's recipe by adding lots of cheese on top, spinach inside and baking instead of frying....I know lots of cheese + no oil = no difference..... :) 

      All that you require for this quick recipe is Brown/White Bread (corners removed) + 2-3 Eggs + chopped Onions, Tomatoes, Spinach, Jalapenos + 2-3 teaspoons of Milk (enough to mash). Mix everything in a bowl with your clean hands, grease a pan with little Butter or EVOO, spread the mixture evenly, put lots of cheese on top (of-course optional and in my hubby's case, a little) , bake in a pre-heated oven at 240 degrees for 7-8 minutes. My Sunday breakfast is ready.

      I am entering this into Chris’s Foodie World Cup bloggers challenge

      Wednesday, June 18, 2014

      HYDERABAD through my lens and D Famous PULIHORA--Andhra style Tamarind Rice

      HYDERABAD - the city of pearls, the city of Biriyanis, the city of Nizam's, the city of Deccan arts, the city of culture, the city of Kohinoor Diamond, the city of CharMinar.

      Unlike any other city, Hyderabad is a combination of the oldest and the moderns. Cyberabad, the new city is the perfect example of modernization which has huge steel structures of companies like Google, Microsoft and other technology giants. On the other hand, the old city of Hyderabad, located on the banks of Musi River built by Muhammed Quli Qutb Shah in 1591. This alluring 400 year old city contains many landmark buildings including the iconic Charminar, Golconda Fort, The Mecca Masjid (mosque), Chowmahalla Palace, Falaknuma Palace, Salar Jung Museum, Qutb Shahi Tombs, Nehru Zoological Park, Pearl Bazaar and the famous Irani Chai and Karachi Bakery.

      A visit to this ancient city is a history lesson in itself.


      Charminar, an iconic symbol of Hyderabad and the charm that represents the old city. The 400 year old living monument was built by Sultan Mohammad Quli Qutub Shah around 1591, as a mosque to commemorate the elimination of a deadly plague that ravaged the city.

      Surrounding the four minarets, you’ll find centuries-old buildings, an overwhelming amount of street noise and huge crowds, including burqa-clad women and men in kurtas. The famous Laad Bazaar is located on one of the four main roads that branch out from the historic Charminar. This old market is popular for sparkly bangles and pearls.



      This beautiful monument is one of the oldest and largest mosques in India, situated right beside the iconic Charminar.



      Once regarded as the center of Hyderabad, the magnificent Chowmahalla Palace or Chowmahallat (4 Palaces) was the seat of the Asaf Jahi dynasty where the Nizams entertained their official guests and royal visitors. Built over 200 years ago, Chowmahalla Palace is renowned for its unique style and elegance.A synthesis of many architectural styles and influences, the Palace Complex has been meticulously restored.

      Chowmahalla Palace - Hyderabad, INDIA
      Khilwat Mahal

      Chowmahalla Palace - Hyderabad, INDIA
      Takht-e-Nishan (Royal Seat) in Durbar Hall - Khilwat Mahal

      Chowmahalla Palace - Hyderabad, INDIA
      The 19 recently re installed chandeliers made of spectacular Belgian crystal recreate the lost splendor of this regal hall - Khilwat Mahal

      Chowmahalla Palace - Hyderabad, INDIA
      Arches & Pillars in Durbar Hall - Khilwat Mahal

      Chowmahalla Palace - Hyderabad, INDIA
      The view of Clock Tower is another impressive construction. It houses what is affectionately called the Khilwat Clock which has been ticking away ever since the Palace was built.
      Clock Tower, Chowmahalla Palace - Hyderabad, INDIA

      Chowmahalla Palace - Hyderabad, INDIA

      Vintage Car Museum - The yellow car shown above is a Rolls Royce Silver Ghost 1911 Model. The yellow body had gold mountings and various parts of the body, lights, roof, etc were finished in silver.This car was used only for important occasions and has done just 356 miles in the last hundred years.

      Salarjung Museum of Hyderabad

      Salarjung Museum is the famous art museum of Hyderabad, located on the southern bank of the River Musi. It is the 3rd largest museum in India, and is the effort of one man's priced collection. It was originally started as the private collection of Mr. Yousuf Ali Khan Salar Jung III (1889-1949), later was converted to a Museum for public.

      As on date, there are 38 galleries in the Museum in three blocks i.e. (1) Indian Block (27 galleries), (2)Western Block (7 galleries) and (3) Eastern Block (4 galleries) in which nearly 13,654 objects are on display.

      Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad

      Veiled Rebecca of Salar Jung Museum is a white marble statue, sculptured by Giovanni Maria Benzoniin the mid 25th century. Said to be A melody in marble, and considered as the most beautiful art object in the world and masterpiece of Salar Jung Museum.

      The art lies in the way the artist has captured the fragility of Rebecca’s innocence within her clinging chiffon robes and veil.

      Carved out of a single block of wood, the famous double statue in Salar Jung Museum showing two life-size figures - Mephistopheles in front and Margaretta at the back. Margaretta and Mephistopheles symbolise good and evil respectively. With rare ingenuity, remarkable insight into the characters and superb craftsmanship, the sculptor has brought out in one piece of wood the agents of love and hate in all their life-like attitudes and elements.



      All my respect as a woman, to Golconda, which was, at one time, the the only diamond mine in the world. The home of Kohinoor...the home of Hope Diamond...this ancient fort derives its name from Golla Konda, which is a Telugu word for Shepherd’s Hill. It’s when a shepherd boy stumbled upon an idol on the hill, it led to the construction of a mud fort by the Kakatiyas as part of their western defenses.

      At Fateh Darwaza, the main entrance, a fantastic acoustic effect can be experienced, characteristic of the engineering marvels at Golkonda. A hand clap at a certain point below the dome at the entrance reverberates and can be heard clearly at the 'Bala Hisar' pavilion, the highest point of the fort, almost a kilometer away. This worked as a warning note to the royals in case of an attack.

      Golconda Fort Garden

      The ruins of Golconda Fort

      The ruins of Golconda Fort

       Ruins of Golkonda Fort with fountain in front at dusk

       Golconda @ Night after Light & Sound Show

       Golconda @ Night after Light & Sound Show

      Haunted Golconda
      The history books don’t talk about the spirits of thieves that are said to live in the trees, the baffling shadows seen gliding around, and the sounds of people crying out in pain. The spirit of Taramati, a courtesan turned queen, is often spotted here. Visitors aren’t allowed to linger after dark. But since it’s a popular film location, movie crews are often here past the deadline and see much more than they’d like.


      The tombs of the Qutb Shahi sultans lie about one kilometer north of Golkonda's outer wall. These structures are made of beautifully carved stonework, and surrounded by landscaped gardens. They are open to public and receive many visitors.

      Qutub Shahi Tombs

      Qutub Shahi Tombs


      The sprawling 2000-acre Ramoji Film City, set up by Ramoji Group in 1996, is the land of million dreams, where comprehensive and world-class filmmaking facilities await dream merchants for a celluloid journey. The massive dreamscape vibrant with flamboyant locales, picturesque avenues, make-believe sets and outstanding film-making infrastructure make it as filmmakers’ paradise.

      It is also a popular tourism and recreation centre, containing both natural and artificial attractions including an amusement park.

      The Grand Entrance after a few minutes bus drive from the Ticket Counter

      Fun Park inside Ramoji Rao Film City, Hyderabad

      Red tourist Hop on Hop off buses inside Ramoji Rao Film City

      The beautiful view of Ramoji Rao Film City

      Mahabharatha set done at Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad, quite interesting to see.

      Mythological and Historical sets at Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad

      Indian Hollywood Studio

      Magic Shows  inside Ramoji Rao Film City, Hyderabad

      Fun Filled place for the entire family - Ramoji Rao Film City, Hyderabad

      Nehru Zoological Park

      An Indian Zoo where the authorities have gone the extra mile to make the visit enjoyable & comfortable. The electrical buggy ride is an excellent way to go round this massive zoo.



      Lumbini Park is a small public, urban park, adjacent to Hussain Sagar in Hyderabad. The main attractions of this park is the boat ride to the world's tallest monolith of Gautama Buddha. The story behind this Buddha of the Lake Bottom is quiet interesting. A beautiful effort and a major attraction of Hyderabad. It has various other attractions such as laser auditorium, boating facilities and musical fountains.

      Please do not leave the city before trying the famous Irani Chai with Osmania Biscuits and before buying the famous Hyderabadi Pearls and Bangles.
      I hope I don't have to mention the world famous HYDERABADI BIRIYANI

      And now its foodieee time.

      PULIHORA--Andhra style Tamarind Rice

      After living in Hyderabad, I have become a great admirer of their rice preparations. Of course, who have not heard about the world famous Hyderabadi Biriyani. But here I am talking about the vegetarian preparation of rice that I got to taste during the festive occasion of Ganesh Puja. I love the sour taste they add to all their rice preparations.
      Puli means sour taste. Pulihora is also referred to as sour rice. Other names are tamarind rice or lemon rice.
      Here I am talking about the Tamarind Rice...This is the first time I was tasting tamarind in North India...I can never imagine adding tamarind pulp in rice pulao....a distinct flavor, which is spicy and tangy all at once, kind of addictive. The recipe is basically making a powder of roasted spices that is then added to a tamarind paste mixture, which you then fry with cooked rice. The combination of crunchy peanuts, tangy tamarind and spicy red chilies stimulates the taste buds very nicely.
      Also, if you don't have time to prepare tamarind rice powder/paste from scratch, there are a number of varieties that are ready made and available at almost all the Indian stores. Priya really makes a good one. Homemade or store bought, this paste can be stored in refrigerator for future use.

      Tamarind Rice Recipe


      For Rice

      2 cups Sona Masoori ( I prefer this rice over Basmati for this preparation)
      4 cups Water
      1/2 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
      1/2 teaspoon Salt

      For Tamarind Paste
      1 heaping teaspoon of Tamarind Concentrate mixed with 2 tablespoons of water or large lemon sized Tamarind (soak in a cup of hot water and extract pulp)
      1 teaspoon Jaggery or Brown Sugar (optional)
      1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
      1 teaspoon Mustard Seeds
      1 teaspoon Cumin  Seeds
      1 teaspoon Bengal Gram
      1 teaspoon Black Gram
      8-10 Whole Red Chilies
      1/4 teaspoon Hing/Asafoetida
      15-20 fresh Curry Leaves
      2 fistfuls Peanuts (Whole or coarsely powdered)
      1/4 teaspoon Turmeric Powder

      At the time of Final Assembly of Rice
      1 tablespoon Roasted Sesame Seeds powder
      1 fistful Roasted Peanuts

      Making Pulihora

      In a thick bottom pan cook two cups of Rice with four cups of water, salt and turmeric powder.  Spread rice into a thin layer too cool down, add a little oil to keep the grains separate. Set aside.

      Dry roast Peanuts until fragrant. Likewise roast the Sesame Seeds and powder. Keep it aside.

      Heat oil in a wok, add whole Red Chilies, Bengal gram, Black Grams, Peanuts and Mustard Seeds and finally Cumin Seeds. Once it splutters, add Curry leaves, Asafoetida and Turmeric powder.

      Add the Tamarind extract and Jaggery. Cook till the raw smell of tamarind disappears. Adjust Salt, add water if required. It will be a thick but flowing paste. Remove from heat. 
      At this point, you can cool and store this paste for future use.

      Add 2 tablespoon of above Tamarind Paste to the cooked rice. Mix lightly without breaking the rice grains. Adjust salt and more paste or rice according to taste. Finally sprinkle the roasted Sesame seeds powder and roasted Peanuts and combine well. Let it sit for at least 1-2 hours for the flavors to set in.

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