Monday, September 27, 2010

Bread 65/Spiced Indian Sytle Bread Snack..

We all have come across different recipes for
bread upma and other leftover bread dishes.
I now have a slightly altered and a fanciful recipe for a spicy bread 65 using very simple ingredients.
Here goes the recipe:


Any white bread-about 10 slices cubed

Onion-1 medium thinly cut into strips

Tomatoes-3 chopped finely or 2 tbsp of any tomato paste

Green chillies-2 slit lenghtwise

Mustard seeds-1 tsp

Cumin/Jeera seeds-1 tbsp

Curry leaves-1 sprig

Cilantro- to garnish

Asafoetida pwdr-a pinch

Red chilly pwdr-1 tsp

Turmeric pwdr-1/2 tsp

Oil-2 tbsp

Salt to taste


1.Cube the bread slices with or without the crust on.

 2.Heat abt 1 tbsp of oil in a skillet and add the cumin seeds,green chillies,curry leaves and turmeric.

3.Add the cut onions next and fry until they turn transparent.

4.Now add the tomatoes or the paste or a combination of both and add the salt and chilly powder.

5.Cook for 5 mins till the mixture becomes thick and then slowly add the cubed bread slices.

6.Toss it slowly till the bread cubes are evenly coated with the tomato onion paste and add the remaining 1 tbsp of oil.

7.Fry till the bread cubes turn red and crisp.

8.Squeeze a few drops of lemon if preferred and garnish with chopped cilantro.

9.Serve hot with ketchup.

10.Yummy snack to enjoy on a monsoon evening..

Note:2 tbsp of thick curd can also be added towards the end for a tangy flavour..

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Avocado Paratha / Avocado Flavoured Indian Bread..

Avocado has the highest protein and oil content than any other fruit. In fact, this soft-fleshed fruit can contain up to 30 per cent fat. Don't let the high fat content put you off, though; avocados contain only monounsaturated fat, which may help to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.
Wanna enjoy this buttery fruit in a delicious form!Avocado parathas are coming your way...


Avocado- 1 ripe fruit 

Whole wheat flour-2 cups

Green chillies-2 or (adjusted to spice levels) deseeded and finely chopped

Cumin pwdr-2 tsp

Coriander pwdr-2 tsp

Red chilly pwdr-1 tsp

Turmeric pwdr-1/2 tsp

Asafoetida/Peringayam/hing-a pinch

Salt to taste

Warm water-2 tbsp if needed

Oil/ghee- to cook parathas


1.Run through the middle of the avocado with the help of a knife and cut it into half.

2.Discard the seed and scoop the buttery pulp using a sharp spoon leaving  the skin behind.

3.Now sift the wheat flour in a large bowl and add all the spice powders and mix well.

4.Add the scooped pulp and knead it into a smooth pliable dough adding very little water only if needed.

5.Cover the dough and let it rest for 15-30 mins.

6.Knead the dough once again on a dusted surface and make small lemon sized balls.

7.Roll each ball of dough into triangular or circular parathas using a rolling pin.

8.Do not add too much of flour to dust unless the dough is sticky as this will make the  parathas

9.Cook in on a hot griddle or tawa using half a tbsp of ghee on either sides till it turns golden brown in color.

10.Serve it hot with any raitha or pickle of your choice.

Since avocado is a buttery fruit and has a lot of oil in it,it gives the paratha a lot of softness without having to add any oil or ghee.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Asian Style Vegetable Stir Fry..

We all know the goodness of vegetables and when we can make a quick low-calorie mouth watering dish with it,what more can we ask for!!!
Here's an easy recipe for vegetable stir fry the Asian way and it can be done in minutes!!


Frozen asparagus stir fry vegetables pack (1 lb) or 2 cups of fresh veggies like carrots, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower,snow peas and bell peppers.
Firm Tofu-1 pkt

Olive/Veg/Canola oil-2 tbsp

Ground Pepper-2tbsp

Chilly/teriyaki/sweet and sour sauce-2tbsp

Soy Sauce-1 tbsp

White vinegar-1 tsp

Salt to taste


1.Heat 2 tbsp of oil on medium high in a large wok or skillet and add the frozen vegetables to it. Do not wash the vegetables before adding them cos' this makes them soft and it will not become crunchy.

2.Keep tossing the vegetables so that it does not stick to the bottom of the pan.

3.After cooking for a few minutes,add salt,pepper,the chilli,soy sauce and the vinegar.

4.Stir fry the vegetables so they are evenly coated with the sauce and are crunchy.

5.Remove from heat and serve hot with Jasmine rice or any other rice or noodles of your choice.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Beans Paruppusili/Chopped Green Beans with Scrambled Lentil Dumplings..

"Morkuzhambu and Parupusili"!!
What could make you drool more,that too being born and raised up in a Tambram family??
The very thought of it is making me feel hungry.
Though everyone in the family cook this dish quite well,i can only vouch for one best taste and that is the paruppusili which my athai in chennai makes!! Before marriage,i briefly stayed in one of my aunt's house in Chennai and i can still relish those days of all that delicious food i have eaten from her..Thank you so much athai!!This Paruppusili was one of her classic recipes.The standard vegetables for usili are kothavarangai,green beans or vazhaipoo,but it can be made with any veggies of our choice.Here is the recipe:

Ingredients :

Green Beans -1 lb finely chopped

Thuvaram paruppu/toor dhall-1 cup

Kadalai paruppu/channa dhall-1/2 cup

Urad dhall-1 tbsp

Varamilagai/dry chillies-5 to 6 according to spice levels

Green chillies-1

Asafoetida pwdr/Peringayam/hing-1/2 tbsp

Shredded coconut-1 tbsp(optional)

Curry leaves-1 sprig

Cilantro to garnish

Oil-2 tbsp

Salt to taste


1.Cook the beans with little salt and turmeric and set it aside.

2.Now grind the lentils along the red and green chillies,asafoetida,and little salt adding the curry leaves and little cilantro towards the end

3.The traditional method is to make mixture into small balls and steam them till the lentils are cooked,but the latest methods for saving time and work also call for microwaving the mixture by adding required amount of water or frying the ground lentils in abt 2 tbsps of oil till they are cooked.

4.After cooking the lentils in any of the above methods,just heat oil in a pan,add mustard seeds,urad dhall and add the beans and the usili and give it a good toss.

5.Switch off the heat after 5 mins and garnish with some chopped cilantro and shredded coconut.

The best accompaniant for paruppusili is either morkuzhambu,vaththal kuzhambu or mysore rasam.

Pudhina Pulao/Mint Flavoured Rice..

Mint or Pudhina as it is commonly known is an aromatic perennial herb and its leaves are widely used for culinary purposes.
It has a natural fresh,cool and refreshing flavour and a cool after taste..
Mint is good in the cure of gases,nausea,body aches,poor digestion etc.
There are many recipes which call for this herb and the one which i'm going to share here is a very simple and flavourful dish which i learnt from my friend K after coming to the US.
Thanx K!!
It is mint flavoured rice or Pudhina rice with just the simple ingredients.
They are:


Mint- 1 medium sized bunch

Green chillies-2 nos.

Garlic-2 pods

Ginger-1/4 inch

Cinnamon-1/2 inch

Cloves-4 nos.

Bay leaf-1 no. (optional)

Rice-1 cup (any long grain white rice or leftover cooked rice works great too)

Ghee-2 tbsp

Oil-1 tbsp

Roasted Cashew to garnish-1 tbsp (optional)

Fried paneer -10 cubes (optional)


1.Cook rice separately and allow it to cool.

2.Meanwhile heat some oil in a pan and saute all the ingredients mentioned above except the rice,ghee,bay leaf and paneer,adding the mint leaves towards the end.

3.Switch off the heat and let it cool and then grind it into a smooth paste adding very little water if necessary.

4.Now heat the ghee in the same pan and add the bay leaf and add the paste.

5.Cook it for a few mins on low flame till you the see the ghee coming out from the sides of the mixture.Add the fried paneer now if using.

6.Switch off the heat and add the cooked rice and give it a gentle stir taking care not to break the rice.Let it sit for about ten minutes.

7.Garnish with some broken cashews and a few drops of lemon if needed.

8.Enjoy it along with some raitha and chips!!

And that was how it looked with the fried paneer and cashews..

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Basil Cilantro Pesto Pasta..

I recently came across the recipe for pesto but was very hesitant in trying it out because of the strong flavour of basil..But then with an optimistic approach i finally made the pesto pasta for dinner tonite and was so pleased with my decision.
Both husband and myself just freaked over it and loved the blissful taste..
The fresh green aroma of the herbs and the richness of the nuts truly compliment each other!!
I have made some changes to the original recipe and here it goes for the Pesto sauce and the Pasta:

Ingredients for Basil Cilantro Pesto Sauce:

Cilantro(fresh) -1 cup

Basil leaves(fresh)-1 cup

Green chillies-2 nos.

Garlic-3 pods crushed

Almonds/Pecans /Pine nuts(slightly toasted)-1/2 cup (i used slivered almonds)

Olive Oil-1/2 cup

Lemon juice-2 tbsp

Salt to taste


Place all the above ingredients in a blender except the olive oil and grind into smooth paste adding the oil towards the end.

Ingredients for Pasta:

Capellini/Sphagetti/Angel hair pasta- 1/2 pound ( i used the racconto capellini whole wheat pasta as i prefer the whole wheat to the flour ones)

Water to cook

Salt to taste

Olive oil-2 tbsp


1.Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet.

2.Drain and set aside,do not rinse.

3.Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a skillet and saute the pesto pasta for a few minutes.

4.Now add the cooked pasta and give the mixture a good toss so the pasta is evenly
coated with the sauce.

5.Sprinkle some crushed pepper and grated parmesan cheese on top....
n hear your tummy sing "yummy yummy yummy yummy yummy in my tummy"!!!

Wagon Wheel Pasta Salad..

Kids love pasta,dont they??and especially when the pasta shapes are so attractive to catch their attention,needless to say!!
I would like to share a simple pasta salad recipe which is very easy to make as well as please your kid's lunch menu!!
Here it goes:


Piccolini mini wheels pasta:1 cup

Water-3 cups

Extra virgin olive oil-2 tbsp

Frozen peas and carrot-1/2 cup

Cherry tomatoes-halved-1/2 cup

Grated Mozzarella or Parmesan Cheese-1/4 cup

Freshly ground pepper and Salt to taste

lemon Juice-few drops


1.Bring 3 cups of water to boil and add the pasta to it.

2.Cook for about five mins with salt and one tbsp of olive oil.

3.The pasta should be cooked to al dente.

4.Drain and set aside.

5.Cook the frozen peas and carrot in boiling water for about 3 mins and drain.

6.Heat the reamining olive oil in a skillet and add the cooked pasta,peas and carrots,tomatoes and cheese and give it a good toss..

7.Season it some salt and pepper..

8.Remove from heat and add the grated cheese..

9.Transfer the pasta to a bowl.cover and refrigerate till its ready to be served..

10.This also serves as a great salad during parties and other occasions..

Baked Kuzhipaniyarams/Desi Muffins/Seasoned Pancake Puffs..

This is a very famous Chettiand cuisine and its a common practice in many south indian households to make these kuzhi paniyarams out of left over idly or dosa batter.
Its a yummy snack to eat especially during the monsoons and winter..
Its traditionally made using a aappa chatti or an aebleskiwer pan but baking it in a muffin tray
also does full justice to the dish and of course making it low calorie too!!
Here goes the recipe:


Leftover Idly or Dosa Batter

To season with:

Mustard-1 tsp

Ulutham paruppu/urad dhall-1 tsp

Kadala paruppu/channa dhall-1 tsp

Peringayam?hing - a pinch

Chopped green chillies-according to spice levels

Dry red chilly-1 no.

Curry leaves -1 sprig

Onions-2 small finely chopped

Oil-2 tbsp

Note:the dosa batter already has salt in it,so add extra salt only if needed..


1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees and meanwhile heat oil in a small pan and when hot add all the ingredients mentioned for seasoning..saute for 2 mins.

2.Remove it from the heat and add it to the dosa batter along with the chopped onions.

3.Now grease a muffin tray and fill it to its 3/4th level with the seasoned dosa batter.

4.Bake for about 20-30 mins till golden brown.

5.Remove the tray,let cool and enjoy it with coconut chutney or ketchup..

Note:as this is a baked snack,it may turn hard and rubbery if left for long due to the property of rice bake and eat it rite away!!

Jevvarisi Upma/Sabudana Kichdi/Spiced Tapioca Starch..

Jevvarisi Upma or Sabudana Kichdi is a very famous Maharashtrian breakfast dish and is mainly done on the days of fast or vrath..
This has been one of my favorite dishes and for a very long time I was searching for the perfect way or recipe for doing this dish until I learnt it from a friend of mine who hails from Mumbai..Thanks to V for sharing this recipe with me..
Now Jevvarisi is nothing but tapioca starch and so it has a natural tendency to become sticky when mixed with the whole success of the upma lies in properly soaking the jevvarisi before making the upma..It should not become too mushy when cooked or be half cooked either..
According to my experience,washing the jevvarisi or sabudana under running cold water a couple of times and soaking it in half qty water for upto eight hours gives the dish the perfect consistency and texture.I also stir up the soaked jevvarsi for every one hr so that the ones at the bottom don't get too watery or dissolve and this way it uniformly soaks..
The dry jevvarisi balls are small and white in color and when soaked, they bloat up in size and become transparent..
Its a very quick dish except for the soaking time..
Here goes the recipe:


Jevvarisi or Sabudana:1 cup

Water:1/2 cup

Medium sized Potato:1 no. cubed

Green chillies:2 nos. slit into half

Peanuts unpeeled or peeled:1/2 cup

Cumin or jeera seeds: 1 tbsp

Red chilly pwdr:1/2 tsp

Asafoetida/Hing/Peringayam:a pinch

Turmeric: a pinch (optional)


Curry leaves-1sprig

Cilantro or coriander for garnishing

Salt to taste

Lemon juice-few drops(optional)

To grind :

Dry roast the peanuts and grind half the qty into a coarse powder and reserve the rest for the tadka.


1.Wash and soak the jevvarisi or sabudana in water and let it sit for for 6-8 hrs not forgetting to stir it in between to ensure uniform soaking.

2.Heat 1 tsp of oil and when heated add the cumin seeds,green chillies,peanuts,curry leaves and hing.

3. Add the cubed potatoes next and saute for a few mins till they are cooked.

4.Now drain the water from and add the Jevvarisi or Sabudana ,red chilly powder and salt to the mixture and cooked it for about 5-7 mins with the lid closed..

5.Do not over cook the sabudana as you may end up getting a gooey mass of the whole dish thus  spoiling it.

6.Finally add the ground peanut powder and give it a toss..

7.Sprinkle some chopped cilantro to garnish.

8.Add a few drops of lemon juice if preferred..

A colourful flavourful Sabudana upma is now ready..enjoy it as it is or with any chutney or ketchup of your choice!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Kadalamavu Payasam/Besan Kheer/Chikpea Flour Porridge

This dish can rightly be called "the poor man's porridge" as it is a very simple dish,but can fake anyone easily for the Badam Kheer which is a costly affair!!
And i can proudly say this is my mother-in-law's recreated (Badami) Besan Kheer!!
Here goes the recipe: 


Kadalaimaavu/Besan flour - 1/4 cup

Milk- 1 lt

Sugar -1/2 cup

Broken cashews- 1/4 cup

Ghee - 2 tbsps

Cardamom pwdr- a pinch

Saffron-a few strands (optional)


1.Heat the ghee in a pan and roast the cashews until golden brown but not black..

2.Add the besan flour next and roast it till it gives an aromatic fragrance..Keep stirring to avoid forming lumps..

3.Now slowly add the milk little by little while continuing to stir..Do not add the full quantity
of milk mentioned..

4.Keep stirring as the mixture begins to boil.

5.After about five mins,add the sugar and the remaining milk.let it boil for about 10-15 mins..Kadalamaavu or besan has a natural property to thicken any dish,so if u feel the
kheer is getting too thick,simply add some more milk..I personally like it a little thick..

6.Finish it off by adding a pinch of cardamom powder and a few strands of saffron which
is purely optional!!

A very handy and instant sweet to do on auspicious or festival days..