Spicy French Toast

3 eggs
1tbs cream
3-4 shallots, finely chopped
2 green chillies, finely chopped
2tbs coriander leaves, finely chopped
1/2tsp cumin powder
1/4tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste
4-5 slices bread
1tbs oil

Whisk the eggs well in a bowl. Mix in all the other ingredients except the bread.
Heat a nonstick pan and add a little oil. 
Dip a slice of bread in the egg mixture and immediately transfer to the pan. Do not dip the bread  for very long or it will absorb up too much egg and will become soggy.
Cook on each side for 2-3mins until golden.
Serve hot.

This goes to "The Bread Mania Event" by Sindhura 


Nutty Meringue Kisses

I have had this recipe for a very long time (definitely from some book I found in the library) and I can't imagine why I waited so long to try it. This is the first time I made something with meringue and I'm so glad I did.
These cookies are super light and just melt in the mouth. The nuts add good flavour and texture.
The best part is that it involves no effort at all.

2 extra large egg-whites at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2tsp vanilla essence
1/2cup mixed nuts, finely chopped ( I used pistachios, pecans and hazelnuts )
1/8tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 275˚F.
Take the egg whites in a clean grease-free bowl. Beat the egg whites till stiff peaks form. 
Beat in the sugar a little at a time until all is used.
Gently fold in the vanilla, nuts and salt.
Drop small spoonfuls on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 50-60 mins, or until the cookies feel dry.
The cookies may not feel firm when you take them out of the oven but will harden and become crisp as they cool.
Store in an airtight container.

Gajar ka Halwa ~ Carrot Pudding

Gajar ka Halwa is probably the most famous and most loved of all Indian Sweets. Rich and delicious this sweet dish is perfect for any occasion. Needless to say we Looove it. 

1 kilo sweet and dark coloured carrots, grated (I measured after peeling and trimming off the ends)
5tbs ghee
1litre milk (I used 2% fat)
450gms sugar
1/2tsp cardamom powder
cashews and raisins for garnish

Heat a little ghee and fry the raisins and cashews till golden. Keep aside.
In a heavy bottomed pan, heat the remaining ghee. Add the carrots and fry till the raw smell has gone and the carrots have changed colour, about 5mins.
Add the milk and cook stirring frequently till all the milk has been absorbed.
Stir in the sugar and continue to cook till thick. The mixture will come together and the ghee will start oozing out.
Remove from heat and stir in the cardamom powder, raisins and cashews.
Serve warm. 
Gajar ka Halwa tastes great with vanilla ice-cream.

Caramel Bread Pudding

Mom got this recipe from one of her colleagues and its been one of our favorite treats ever since. 

8 slices of white bread
1 1/2cups milk
2/3cup + 2tbs sugar
1tsp vanilla essence
nuts or raisins(optional)
6"cake tin or any other similar dish

Tear the bread into small pieces. Pour the milk over it and let it soak for a while.
Mash the bread with the back of a spoon. The mixture need not be smooth, however there should not be any pieces left. Take care to mash the crusts really well.
Mix in the sugar and essence and keep aside.

For the caramel, heat the sugar with about 2tsp water on high heat. Do not stir, but swirl the pan frequently. When the sugar has melted and turns a dark golden brown, pour it into the dish. Working quickly, tilt the dish to coat the base completely and a little of the sides as well.
Keep aside for a few minutes to set.

Mix in the nuts or raisins, if using, into the bread mixture and pour the mixture on top of the caramel. Cover the top of the dish with aluminium foil and make small vents on the surface for the steam to escape.
Steam for 15-20 mins. Remove and when cool enough keep the dish in the refrigerator to set for a couple of hours.
Invert onto a dish and cut into pieces.

and to "Cooking for Kids-Milk and Milk Products" event hosted by Sharmi.

Shrimp and Spinach Curry

1lb shrimp
100gms spinach, shredded
1tbs oil
1/2tsp cumin seeds
1big onion. finely chopped
1big tomato, finely chopped
3-4 green chillies or to taste, finely chopped
1tbs ginger-garlic paste
1/4tsp turmeric powder
1tsp garam masala
1tsp coriander powder
3/4tsp cumin powder
salt to taste
2tbs cream
1/4cup coriander leaves

Marinate the shrimp in turmeric powder and salt and keep aside.
Heat oil and add the cumin seeds.
When they begin to splutter add the onions and green chillies and fry till brown. Add the tomatoes and ginger-garlic paste and fry till the oil separates. 
Add the masalas and fry for 1min. Then add the spinach and fry till it shrinks and starts releasing water. 
Mix in the shrimp and cook for about 8-10mins or till done. There should be enough water at this point, if not add some. Do not overcook the shrimp or it will become chewy.
Mix in the cream and check the seasonings. Mix in the coriander leaves and serve.


Another weekend is here and since we have no specific plans of going out anywhere I thought of making a snack that would last atleast a couple of days. Both of us just looove Murukku so here's hoping that it will last that long.

4cups rice flour
1cup roasted urad dal powder
3tsps cumin seeds
2tsp red chilli powder
1/3cup butter
salt to taste
oil for deep frying

For the urad dal powder roast the urad dal on medium-low heat till the colour just begins to change and you get a nice aroma. Cool and grind to a fine powder.
Melt the butter and mix all the ingredients together to make a firm dough.
Heat the oil and fill the murukku maker with the dough.
Squeeze out the dough in a circular motion forming the murukku pattern on pieces of paper and slide it into the oil carefully.
Since this process is a little tedious especially if you are making it on your own, 
you can sqeeze the dough directly into the hot oil taking care not to overlap much.
Fry on medium heat till golden and crisp. Remove from oil and drain on absorbent paper.
Once cooled, transfer into air tight containers.

Paneer Matar

When we were kids I remember waiting for all those special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries when my parents would take us out dining. For me eating out means having non-vegetarian food and I would not accept anything else. The problem is that my father is a vegetarian and the smells and sights of all the meat and fish would sometimes become unbearable to him. I remember when mom used to cook fish he used to say, "What is that stench?" and I would always reply, 'Don't you mean scent?" and we always had a good laugh.
Anyways it was only for dads birthday that I would compromise and agree to go for a vegetarian meal. There too the one dish I had to have was Paneer Matar. Even now after so many years I'm just as crazy about it and make it quite frequently.
This is a very simple recipe and has no cream or anything so there is no reason to feel guilty after having it.....I love to make it for potlucks or when I'm having guests.

250gms paneer (cottage cheese)
2tbs oil
1big onion, very finely chopped
2big tomatoes (pureed)
1tbs ginger-garlic paste
1tsp garam masala powder
1/4tsp black pepper powder
1/4tsp turmeric powder
red chilli powder to taste
2tbs yoghurt
1cup water or according to required consistency
salt to taste
150gms peas( fresh or frozen )
handful of coriander leaves

Cut the paneer into 1"cubes. Heat 1tbs oil in a pan and shallow fry the paneer till all the sides have browned, taking care to avoid burning. Remove and keep aside.

Heat the remaining oil and fry the onions till brown.
Add the tomatoes and ginger-garlic paste and cook till the oil separates.
Add all the masalas and fry for a minute.
Mix in the curd and cook till well blended. At this point the mixture should be thick and almost paste like.
Add water and salt, when it comes to a boil add the peas. Lower the heat, cover and let it simmer till the peas are cooked, about 5mins.
Mix in the paneer and coriander leaves, cover and cook for 2-3mins.

Sending this to the event "Click-February-2009-Cheese/ Tofu" hosted by Jugalbandi.

Minced Chicken Pulao

2tbs oil
1/2tsp cumin seeds
2 green cardamoms
3 cloves
8-10 peppercorns
1 small onion
3-4green chillies or to taste
1tbs ginger-garlic paste
250gms minced chicken
1/4tsp turmeric powder
1 1/2tsp coriander powder
3/4tsp cumin powder
1/2tsp garam masala
1cup basmati rice
2cups water
salt to taste
coriander leaves for garnish

Wash the rice and keep aside to drain.
Heat oil in a thick-bottom pan on medium heat and add the cumin seeds. When done spluttering add the cardamoms, cloves and peppercorns and fry for 30secs.
Then add the onions and green chillies and saute till the onions turn golden brown. 
Add the ginger-garlic paste and fry till the raw smell disappears.
Turn the heat to high and add the chicken. Fry stirring continuously to break any lumps. 
Add the coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder and garam masala and cook till all the water has evaporated and the chicken has browned. 
Add the rice and mix gently. Add water and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 15mins. 
Remove from heat but keep covered for another 10mins.
Fluff up the rice, garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with mint raita.


Sending this to "Harvest Festival of Rice" event by Sudeshna.

Chicken Manchurian

200gms boneless chicken

For the batter:
1/4cup cornflour
1/4cup all-purpose flour/ maida
1tsp chilli powder
1/2tsp white pepper powder
1/4tsp msg/ ajinomoto (optional)
1 big pinch sugar
1/2tsp ginger-garlic paste
salt to taste
oil for deep frying

For the sauce:
1tsp oil
1tbs ginger, finely chopped
1tbs garlic, finely chopped
2 green chillies, finely chopped
1/4cup spring onions
1 1/2cups water
1/2tsp white pepper powder
1/4tsp msg/ ajinomoto (optional)
1 big pinch sugar
1 1/2tbs soya sauce
1tbs green chili sauce
few drops vinegar
salt to taste
1 1/2tbs cornflour
spring onion greens for garnish

Cut the chicken into 1 1/2" cubes. Mix the cornflour, a.p.flour, red chilli powder, pepper powder, msg, ginger-garlic paste, salt and egg with a little water to make a thick batter.
Heat the oil in a kadhai. Dip the chicken in the batter and deep fry on medium heat till golden and the chicken is cooked through. Drain and keep aside.

Heat 1tsp oil in a saucepan. Saute the ginger, garlic, green chillies and spring onions for 2mins, ensure they do not brown.
Add the water, sauces and seasonings and bring to a boil. Check the salt.
Mix the cornflour in a 2tbs water. Add to the sauce a little at a time, stirring constantly. Add only enough cornflour paste to get the desired consistency for the sauce. Boil for a minute.
Add the chicken and mix. Remove from heat.
Garnish with spring onion greens.

Dal Tadka

1/2cup toor dal
2cup water
1 small onion, roughly chopped
1 small tomato, roughly chopped
3green chillies or to taste; finely chopped
1/4tsp turmeric powder
1/2tsp coriander powder
salt to taste
1tbs ginger, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

for tadka:
1tsp oil
1/2tsp mustard seeds
1/2tsp cumin seeds
a big pinch asafoetida
2dry red chillies, broken
handful of coriander leaves, chopped

Put all the ingredients except the ones for tadka in a vessel and 
pressure cook for 2 whistles and on low for 15mins.
When the pressure is released, remove from the cooker. Mash the dal lightly to mix well.
If too thick add some water for desired consistency (the dal will thicken as it cools). Check the seasonings and keep on low flame till it starts bubbling. Remove from flame and mix in the coriander leaves.
For the tadka, heat oil, add mustard and cumin, chillies and asafoetida. Once they splutter pour the tadka over the dal and serve hot.

Here's another one for "FIC-Yellow" event by Sunshinemom

and to

"MLLA" event hosted by Srivalli, originally started by Susan

and to Ashwini's "Lentils Mela"

Chicken Fry

This is an easy and quick dish. It is a perfect accompaniment to dal rice. 
Make this dish with boneless chicken and serve as an appetizer or use as a stuffing for puffs or sandwiches.

1.5lbs chicken; cut into small pieces
2tbs lemon juice
1 big onion; about 250gms
4 green chillies, finely chopped
1tbs ginger-garlic paste
1 & 1/2tsp coriander powder
1/2tsp heaped garam masala
1/2tsp pepper powder
1/4tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste
1/2cup coriander leaves, finely chopped

Wash the chicken and drain well. Mix in the lemon juice, ginger-garlic paste and salt and keep aside.
Heat 1 & 1/2tbs oil and saute the onions and green chillies till golden.
Add the masalas and fry for 1min.
Add the chicken and mix well. Add 1/4cup water and more salt if needed. Turn the heat to low, cover and cook till the chicken is tender.
Uncover, add the remaining oil and fry on high flame till all the water has evaporated and oil shows on the surface. 
Mix in the coriander leaves and add drizzle some more lemon juice if you like.

Vegetable Pulao

1tbs ghee/oil
1tsp cumin seeds
1 small onion, finely chopped
3-4 green chillies, finely chopped
2 cardamoms
4 cloves
10 peppercorns
1 small stick cinnamon
1 bay leaf
1tbs ginger garlic paste
1/2tsp turmeric powder
1/2tsp coriander powder
1/4tsp garam masala
1 sprig curry leaves
1 medium carrot, chopped
10 french beans, chopped
1/2cup peas
1cup basmati rice, washed and drained
2cups water
salt to taste

Heat ghee/oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. 
When brown add the onions, green chillies, cardamoms, cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon and bay leaf and saute onions are golden. 
Add ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell disappears.
Add the turmeric, garam masala, coriander powder and curry leaves and fry for 1 min.
Add the vegetables and fry for 2-3mins.
Stir in the rice till well coated with all the masalas.
Add the water and salt and bring to a boil. Cover and cook on low for 15mins. Remove from flame but keep covered for 10mins more.
Serve with a raita of your choice.

I'm sending this to Harvest-Festival of Rice event by Sudeshna

and to 

"FIC:YELLOW" event by Sunshinemom.

Puttu...Steamed Rice Cakes

Puttu is a breakfast dish from Kerala. Moist rice flour is layered with coconut and steamed in a Puttu Maker known as Puttu Kutti.
At my home we always eat puttu with sugar and banana. But at Manoj's place it is eaten with kadala curry. Both are great combinations. A very filling dish, we usually have it as brunch on weekends.

2cups puttu podi/powder (various brands are available in the grocery stores)
1tsp salt
1cup water; approximately
2cups fresh grated coconut

Mix the puttu podi and salt in a wide pan. Sprinkle a handful of water and mix into the flour taking care to avoid lumps. In the same way mix in the remaining water, a handful at a time. 
The purpose is to wet the podi for steaming, it should still be in powder form and have no lumps.
(If it is difficult to get rid of the lumps, just pulse the podi in a processor a few times).
Mix in about 1/2 cup of coconut. Cover with a damp cloth to prevent from drying out.
Put 2tbs coconut at the bottom of the puttu kutti. Top with the podi till about 1/3rd capacity, followed by coconut. Repeat to make 3 layers ending with coconut. Cover with the lid and steam for 5mins.
Puttu is best when eaten steaming hot.

Traditional puttu makers consist of two parts. The upper part is a narrow, cylindrical vessel in which the podi is steamed and the lower part is a pot which holds the water.
Nowadays we can find puttu kutti's that can be attached on top of a pressure pan filled with water as in the picture below.

I'm sending this to "Harvest : Festival of Rice" event by Sudeshna.

Kadala Curry~Black Channa Curry

1cup kadala/ black channa
1/2tsp salt
1/4tsp turmeric powder
2cups water

4tbs grated coconut; fresh or dried
6 dried red chillies or to taste ( I like to use a mix of the spicy ones and the kashmiri chillies which give more colour and are less spicy; 3 of each)

1 big onion; finely chopped
1 big tomato; finely chopped
salt to taste
1tbs ginger-garlic paste
2 & 1/2tsp coriander powder
1tsp garam masala
1/4tsp turmeric powder
1sprig curry leaves
2tbs oil
1tsp mustard seeds
2 dried red chillies, broken

Pressure cook the channa adding salt, turmeric and water for 2 whistles and on low for 10-15mins.
Roast the coconut and red chillies on low flame till the coconut is a dark gold in colour.
In the same pan, heat 1tsp oil and saute 1/2 the onions till golden. Cool and grind to a smooth paste along with coconut and chillies using a little water.
Heat the remaining oil in a kadhai and add mustard seeds and the broken red chillies. When they splutter add the onions and fry till brown. Add the tomatoes, ginger-garlic paste and salt and fry till soft and pulpy. Add the masalas and the ground paste. Mix well and fry on medium flame till the oil separates, 3-4mins, stirring frequently to avoid sticking.
Add the channa along with the water in which it was cooked. Mix well and add more water if necessary for desired gravy thickness. Add the curry leaves.
Bring to a boil and check the salt. Cover and cook for 5mins on medium flame till all the flavours blend together.
Serve with rotis, dosas or with puttu.

This is my entry to "JFI CHICKPEAS" event hosted by MS of Sometime Foodie.

Sabudana Kichadi

1& 1/2 cup sabudana/ sago
1/2cup roasted peanuts
1 medium potato; boiled and cut into small cubes
3-4 green chillies, finely chopped
1tsp cumin seeds
2tbs ghee
2tbs fresh grated coconut
2-3tbs coriander leaves, finely chopped
1tsp sugar
salt to taste

Wash the sabudana 2-3 times. Soak the sabudana overnight(the water level should be the same as that of sabudana). The sabudana absorbs the water completely. Separate the grains.
Coarsely grind the peanuts. Add the ground peanuts, potato and salt to the sabudana and mix well.
Heat ghee in a pan. Add the cumin. When it splutters add the green chillies and fry for a minute.
Add the sabudana mixture and cook on low flame stirring frequently. 
The sabudana will turn soft and transparent. Add the sugar, coconut and coriander leaves and mix well. Cook for 1 more minute.
Remove from flame and serve hot.
The kichadi tastes great when served with lightly sweetened yogurt.

Sending this to

"Recipes for the rest of us" event hosted by Ramki


" Lets go nut's! " event by Aquadaze.


"MLLA" event hosted by Srivalli, originally started by Susan

Manchow Soup

When it comes to soup this is my absolute favourite. Lots of vegetables and the right amount of heat, Manchow soup is a perfect winter treat.

2tbs oil
2tbs garlic, finely chopped
1tbs ginger, finely chopped
1 green chilli, finely chopped
2 spring onions, finely chopped
5 cups stock/ water
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1 medium capsicum, finely chopped
6 french beans, finely chopped
5 mushrooms, finely sliced
1 chicken breast, boiled and shredded
1/2tsp white pepper powder
1tbs soya sauce
2tbs red chilli sauce
salt to taste
1/4tsp sugar
3tbs cornflour
1/2 egg, well beaten
1tbs vinegar
50gms noodles

Boil the noodles. When cold deep fry till golden.
Heat oil in a saucepan. Saute the ginger, garlic, green chilli and spring onion(whites) for 2mins.
Add the stock, vegetables and salt and bring to a boil. Add the seasonings, sauces, chicken and simmer for 4-5mins.
Mix the cornflour in 2-3tbs water and add to soup. Mix till thick.
Add the egg in a thin stream, stirring continuously. Mix well. Remove from heat. Stir in the vinegar.
Garnish with spring onion greens and fried noodles and serve hot.

This recipe is adapted from one of my Sanjeev Kapoor books.
For a vegetarian version, simply omit the chicken and egg.

This is my entry for Trupti's "Winter Treat" event
and to

"Sunday Snacks - Hot n Spicy" event by Pallavi.

Spicy Noodles

200gm noodles
1egg, well beaten
1/2tsp  + 2tbs oil
1 small carrot, sliced
1 small capsicum, sliced
3 spring onions, white and green separated and chopped
1 chicken breast, boiled and shredded
1/2tsp pepper powder
1/4tsp sugar
1 tbs soya sauce
1 tbs red chilli sauce or to taste
salt to taste

Method :
Heres a tip to cook the noodles: Boil the noodles about 1/2 to one hour before stir frying them, so they have a chance to cool down and are not moist or wet.
Boil lots of water. Add the noodles and try to separate them. I like to use a pair of tongs. Cook them only as long as the packet suggests. The noodles must not be completely soft, they should still have a bite to them. Drain and rinse under cold water. Toss with 1/2tsp oil and spread them on a baking sheet and keep aside for atleast 1/2 hour. .
Heat oil in a wok till smoking hot. Add the beaten egg and scramble quickly. Add the vegetables, spring onions(whites) and chicken and stir-fry for 2-3mins.
Add all the seasonings and mix well.
Add the noodles and toss till heated through and well mixed.
Mix in the spring onion greens and serve hot.

Suji Upma

1cup suji/rava
2+1/2 cup boiling water
1 big onion
3-4 green chillies, finely chopped
1 medium tomato, finely chopped
1/2 cup green peas, boiled
1tbs ginger, grated
1sprig curry leaves
1tsp mustard seeds
1 tbs raw peanuts
2tsp urad dal
2 dried red chillies, broken into 2 pieces
a big pinch asafoetida
salt to taste
1/2tsp sugar
1tbs oil
2tbs coconut, grated
freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste

Roast the rava on low flame till golden and keep aside.
Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. 
When they begin to splutter, add the peanuts and roast for a few seconds. Then add the urad dal and red chillies. When the dals have browned add the hing followed by onions and  green chillies .
Saute till the onions turn soft and transparent. Add the tomato and fry till they begin to soften, you don't want  it to turn mushy. Add the roasted suji, peas, salt, ginger, curry leaves and mix well.
Turn the heat to the lowest setting. Add the boiling water while stirring continuosly to avoid forming lumps. Stir in the sugar. Cover and cook for another 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it sit covered for another 5 minutes.
Uncover and fluff the upma with fork and stir in the coconut and lemon juice.
Serve hot with a pickle of your choice.

Balti Chicken

This recipe is from the book 'Best of India'. The dish is named after the pot in which it is traditionally cooked, ie. a balti, which means bucket. It is a delicious dish I like to make often.


1kg chicken, cut into medium pieces
1 big onion, about 250gms; sliced fine
2 big tomatoes, about 300gms; sliced fine
2 green chillies
2tbs oil
1tsp cumin
2 cardamom pods
1 small stick cinnamon
5 peppercorns
1tbs ginger-garlic paste
1tsp red chilli powder
1tsp garam masala
1/2tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste
2tbs yogurt
1tbs lemon juice
fresh coriander leaves for garnish

Heat oil in a large flat bottomed pan. Fry onions till brown. 
Add tomatoes, cumin, whole garam masalas, ginger garlic paste and salt and cook till the oil separates.
Add the masala powders and fry for a minute.
Add the chicken and curd and fry for a few minutes till the chicken is well coated with the masala.
Add 1/2cup of water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook till the chicken is tender.
Remove from the flame and mix in the lemon juice. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
Serve hot with rotis or rice.

Kanda Poha

I remember back in school I was always willing to trade the idlis and dosas in my lunch box for the poha some of my friends would bring. It still remains one of my favourite dishes.

200gm thick poha
1 large potato
1 large onion
2tbs oil
1tsp mustard seeds
a pinch of asafoetida (hing)
3-4 green chillies (or to taste), finely chopped
1tbs ginger, finely chopped
1/2tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste
1/4cup coriander leaves, finely chopped
2tbs fresh grated coconut
1tbs lemon juice

Boil the potato and cut into small pieces.
Take the poha in a metal strainer and rinse it under water till completely wet. Shake the strainer to drain off excess water and place the strainer on a plate. This will soften the poha. 
Heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. When they splutter add the hing. Then add the onions, green chillies and ginger and saute till the onions are soft and transparent.
Add the potatoes and turmeric, mix well and fry for a minute.
Add the poha, salt and mix well. Sprinkle the coriander leaves, coconut and lemon juice on top. Cover and cook on low flame for 2mins. 
Serve hot.

Aloo Gobi

450gm cauliflower, cut into small florets
400gm potatoes, cut into small cubes
2tbs oil
1tsp cumin seeds
a big pinch asafoetida (hing)
3-4 green chillies, finely chopped
1tsp coriander powder
1tsp cumin powder
1/2tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste
1/4cup fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped

Par-boil the potatoes and keep aside.
Heat oil in a wide kadhai and add cumin seeds. When they splutter, add the hing and then the green chillies and fry for a minute.
Add the cauliflower and fry for a few minutes on medium flame.
Add the potatoes, salt and the masala powders. Mix well and cook till done, stirring frequently.
Remove from the heat and stir in the coriander leaves.
Serve hot with rotis or rice.

I'm sending this for the 'FIC- YELLOW' event hosted by Sunshinemom of TongueTicklers.