28 March 2014

Idiyappam|String hoppers|Nool puttu|Sevai served with Kerala Egg Roast


Is there any food that can make you laugh hard ?? Well,if you ask me,I would say one of the famous breakfast item of Kerala,"Idi+appam = Idiyappam "!!Well, all Mallus will get it what I mean exactly provided you've a good humor sense hehe...for others, "Idi" in Malayalam means "Punch" and "Appam" means "Pancake" ..together in English a "Pancake that can give you a PUNCH"Boxing....that's what I thought when I was small that this food had the power to literally punch the hell out of you somehow :P


Well,jokes apart, Idiyappam is a no-harm,quite loved-by-all staple breakfast item at almost every South Indian homes in Kerala,Tamil Nadu,Karnataka,Sri Lanka especially...It's like a food wearing a saree :P....jokes aside AGAIN:D ,quite easy to make if you have the Idiyappam maker/press ....All you need - Rice flour,grated coconut and warm water......It is a kind of art to press the dough into noodles and steam it in a idli maker....and enjoy it with simple sugar,coconut milk ,or most popularly with Egg curry,meat curry ,ishtu or any spicy curry ....I love it with either egg curry or egg roast the most....

(Updated post with how to make Idiyappam video here)

Kerala Idiyappam


Rice Flour - 1 cup
Water - 1 1/2 cup
Salt - To taste
Coconut - 1/2-3/4 cup
Ghee /oil- 1 teaspoon
Oil for spraying


  1. Boil water ,salt and oil .Add rice flour little by little to it.
  2. Reduce the flame and keep on stirring making sure no lumps are formed.
  3. Once the rice flour absorbs all water  , switch off the stove .Allow it to cool a bit
  4. Once it is like warm & comfortable for your hand to work on it, knead the mixture into a smooth dough ,should look like a chappati dough consistency.
  5. Put a ball of dough inside the idiyappam press/maker with its appropriate round mold with fine holes ,(which is needed to produce noodle shape.).
  6. Now heat a idli maker with 1/2 cup water and put it on medium heat.
  7. Mean while,spray oil on idli plates,then press that dough in a circular motion couple of times until you get a thick round pancake, size of a idli full of oodles of noodles :D on each idli plate....Spread a layer of grated coconut on the top....
  8. Steam it for 5-10 minutes on medium-low steam.
  9. Serve hot with Egg curry/roast,chicken curry or any spicy surry of your choice or simply with sugar or sugared coconut milk.
  • While making the dough,if it becomes a paste ,add more rice four to it to knead it/convert it into a dough....

Ohh by the way,Egg roast coming up soon.................

26 March 2014

Close Encounters of the Smelly Kind !!!

Being an IndiBlogger,I love all their contests but I hardly participated before (except one) as my main domain  is "Cooking" but then my blog is all about my "Rants and recipes" and none of the other blogs (which I hardly use) was approved by the IndiBlogger, so I guess I will use  this blog as a platform to participate in their contests at times,especially just for the love of writing ! ..that will be fun to read in future I guess :P ...So,it's cooking and more now (Duhh!!)...However,when I came across this contest "#What's that smell, Boss?" ,  I must say I was least interested to participate ...I was like "Not-my-type"..Forget it !!..But then everyday I get these updates/discussions by the Indi-participants in my email regarding this contest ,that as a matter of fact, I literally felt like my Gmail yelling at me "WHAT'S THAT SMELL BOSS?" ..So,when you are questioned,you are suppose to answer and I said,"Alright alright" ...Guess,I will give my take on this and I know this is not what the contest sponsors would love to hear as it may sound little contradictory unless they perceive it in the right sense !! Anyways, here it is....

For the starters,frankly speaking ,I am not a person who would ask someone that question on their face right on,"What's that smell,boss?" ever, if I am not really close to that particular stinky person because I don't like to belittle someone and humiliate thereby as much as possible (unless provoked :P).I've a good tolerance level I must say (atleast for body odors) ,I would better run like "Bhaag Milka err Manju Bhaag."

First of all, I was brought up not to offend someone on such trivial silly matters and secondly, I strictly believe in "Empathy"...because there are more inevitable reasons that can make someone smell real bad (body odors)...may be some one is sick and it's their disease ,that's the real culprit and sometime even though they take measures to cover up those bad odors, they simply can't,then there are those who sweat real bad inspite of taking baths,using deodrants or perfumes ,and there a few others who can't afford deodrants or perfumes simply ....if all these are the case I personally won't dare to question ever and who knows it can happen with me too,when it's summer,I sweat really hard,sometimes I eat foods especially if they contain onions,garlic etc my mouth may stink like sick(Gross I know), sometimes if it was raining heavily,didn't get a chance to dry out my dresses in fresh air or the dryer properly,it may produce unpleasant odor and moreover the deodrant/perfume I use may not be everyone's fav....it can be repellent for someone....so,you know..."IT HAPPENS" !!...Just like DDLJ(Dilwale Dulhani Le Jayenege),a famous Bollywodd movie's dialogue ,"BADE BADE DESHON MEIN AISE CHOTI CHOTI BAATEIN TO HOTI HI REHTHI HAI"...Just chill chill just chilll !!!

However,then there are a few smells like cigarette odors or liquor odors and likewise that is bound to emit pungent smell to others ( and that is well known by the smoker or the drunkard etc) ,if I come across them,then also ,I would merely run for my life to get an oxygen mask ASAP or become like Anil Kapoor in Mr.India movie,"INVISIBLE"...

However,if any kind of unpleasant, unbearable smell emitting from someone I am pretty close to except my sibling or relatives, I may certainly again not ask directly ,"What's that smell ,boss?" instead nowadays ,I just sing !!.Yeahhhh you heard it right !!....I don't know about you,but I am a die hard fan of the famous sitcom,"F-R-I-E-N-D-S" and if you are a big fan,light,AC of that sitcom too like me,remember,one of the character ,"Pheobe Buffay's" famous song "SMELLY CAT" !! It goes like this-

Smelly Cat, Smelly cat what are they feeding you?
Smelly Cat, smelly cat it's not your fault...
They won't take you to the vet.
You're obviously not their favorite pet.
You may not be a bed of roses,
And you're no friend to those with noses.
Smelly cat, smelly cat what are they feeding you?
Smelly cat, smelly cat it's not your fault!

That's exactly I SING !!....and tadaaaaaa....it will be like "Jor ka jhatka dheere se lagaa" Happy wink.
 or you can call it "What's that smell boss?" song lol...

 And guess what it works like a charm!! ..No one gets hurt but at the same time,gets the right message across to the right people ,haule haule (slowly slowly)!! Bottomline, that's my exact way of asking "What's that smell boss?" Triumphant

Having said all that,we all should follow all the hygienic measures as much as we can (atleast the basics) to avoid being bullied or ridiculed and mostly for a good health & good vibes around because not everyone will be as mahaan(Great) & forgiving like meProud:P;P....

So, just like Racold's ,tag line ,"Reborn everyday with hot water" / have a good bath with a good soap and whole body scrub, it not only refreshes your body but also rejuvenates mentally (so topmost thing -never miss!!) and use necessary products like any talcum powders,body lotions/creams,deodrants,anti-perspirants,perfumes,fresh clothes and socks ,brush,tongue clean and floss well,eat well,drink well (I mean water)etc that will keep everything from tip to top smelling fresh and going.. and on the go must haves - travel size deos,perfumes,talcum powders,wipes,sanitizers,mouth fresheners etc to keep you covered in those emergency situations (Temporary fix !!)....and do consult docs if there is an underlying health condition that's what causing those stinks...

You see,"Health is wealth" ...and if health is lost ,everything is lost ....and as they say,"Hygiene is two-thirds of health"..So,don't be a miser here ,never under estimate and TAKE CARE of yourself & others !!! Otherwise be ready to face the consequences /ready to answer when asked- "What's that smell boss?"...

(Note: This is an ongoing Racold's contest "What's that smell, Boss?"in IndiBloggers and my humble attempt ..Hope I followed all rules properly . Facebook link to the contest   and Indiblogger's link to the contest)

21 March 2014

Chembu Thal thoran|Taro stem dish made with ground coconut and lentil,a Kerala speciality


Warm memories of my childhood days, whenever I used to visit my grandparents during vacations in Kerala,reminds me of the looong backyard and the front yard of the house covered in greenery....Swaying loaded coconut trees,palm trees sprouting with young betel seeds,tapioca plants standing tall like long Bamboo trees ,swinging to and fro ,different types of mango trees with green and yellow mangoes,Jackfruit trees pregnant with heavy Jackfruits - mushy and hard,cashewnut trees full of cashew fruits hanging like lanterns,Rose apple trees (Chambakka) blooming with rosy goodness,bilimbi trees with Kokums(Kodumpuli) hanging like green earrings, and many more, to be frank I don't know their names in English and even in Malayalam all I remember are the lingering tastes :D ...and among all these lushful long trees competing with each other are elephant ears playing hide and seek ...Not the real Elephant's ears but the Taro Plants ,the vegetarian look-alike of Elephant's ears ...scattered all across ...what I loved about them was a weird thing...the leaves embellished with rain drops (usually) which looked nothing less than sparkling pearls ..I admired them :)...small thing enough to light up my face :)...

However,what my parents,grandparents admired about them was this plant was a whole food and when I looked from their point of view I felt really sorry for this plant, for they looked like a bali-ka-bakra(in Hindi)/Scapegoat to me ...because right from their root to stem to leaves everything was edible and cook worthy ,from tip to toe they were going to be brutally butchered sooner or later & transformed into a treat to human palate.!....theoretically speaking, Rest in Peace !! but practically speaking ,ironically it is indeed yummy in every way...Tip to toe !! ...that's what I realized when I made a Kerala special Taro stem side dish/Chembu Thal Thoran (In Malayalam),made with a healthy kick of lentils and a Kerala touch of coconut mix sauteed in coconut oil...The outcome ?..well,every weekend I rush to Asian store (only they carry this produce ),which is like an hour away from my home exclusively to buy Taro stems for sure.....

Taro stems
 By the way like any other vegetables ,they are also very healthy.The health benefits of Taro stems are they have a large amount of Vitamin A, which is needed for proper growth, healthy eyes and protection from disease. They are a good source of Vitamin C and Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) as well. (Source:KupunaKalo.com).However no part of this plant is recommended to be eaten raw .It must be cooked thoroughly to leach out the calcium oxalate (associated with gout and kidney stones)(Courtesy:fitday.com).

Now,let's see how to make a Taro stem side dish in a Kerala way ..............

Chembu Thaal Thoran


Taro stems,peeled and chopped - 3-4 cups
Yellow lentil/Thuvara Parippu ,boiled and drained - 1/2 cup
Coconut,grated - 1/2 cup
Cumin seeds/Jeera - 1 teaspoon
Garlic pods,peeled - 1-2 nos.(optional)
Green chillies - 1-2 nos.
Turmeric powder - 1 teaspoon
Red chilli powder - 1/2 teaspoon (optional)
Salt to taste

To temper :

Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Red chilli,broken - 1-2 nos.
Small onions/Shallot,chopped - 2 nos. 
Curry leaves - a stalk
Coconut oil - 1 tablespoon

Method: Watch & learn the correct way of peeling & chopping the taro stem/chembin thal/chembu thal...

  • Heat a pan with coconut oil,splutter the mustard seeds ,followed by shallots (let it brown slightly),red chillies,curry leaves.
  • Add the chopped taro stems ,turmeric powder and saute for 1 minute on low flame.Cover the chembu thaal/taro stems with a lid and let it cook for a few minutes until tender and dry.
  • Add the boiled and drained lentils to it.
  • Coarsely grind the coconut,cumin seeds,garlic pods in a mixer and add it to the above cooked taro stems and lentil mixture.
  • Add salt.Mix everything well.Saute for a minute or two until the raw smell of the coconut paste disappears.
  • Serve hot with boiled rice and any curry especially sambar,Rasam etc.
  • Instead of yellow lentils, you can also use green gram/cherupayar.Pressure cook it with 3/4 cup water,salt and turmeric for 1-2 whistles until tender and cooked.Make sure they don't turn mushy/mashed.Drain well and use.
  • The outer layer/skin of the taro stems should be peeled down and chopped. 

Happy weekend,

19 March 2014

#Do Right - Half (dark)story about unsung heroes of Raghurajpur..........

India is known for it's diverse, multifaceted culture rich in history and traditions.That's why it is undoubtedly called ,"The incredible India".
Cococnut painting-Courtesy:Wikipedia

India has one of the world's largest collections of music,dance,folk traditions,rites and rituals,art,crafts,paintings and writings which are known as the "Intangible cultural heritage" of the nation. Each and every part of the country has some or the other form of art and craft to boast with pride .For example Rajasthan's tie-dye fabrics,puppet shows ,mirror embroidery ,royal intricate designs,Gujarath's Bandhani fabric dyeing,Assamese Cane,bamboo art,silk fabric designs ,on the southern part of India known for exceptional Mural paintings,wood and stone carvings  are a few well known art and crafts far and wide...and then there are a few others who are equally awesome if not extraordinary and plays an integral part of Indian Heritage but go unnoticed and unappreciated.

When The Gods Rest…
Image courtesy:Gaatha.com

One such is a "Wonder" village - Raghurajpur,a small village in Puri district of  Odisha (formerly known as Orissa (state)) which has been declared as the heritage arts and crafts village by Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) ,where every villager is an artist and every home is an artist's studio !!..This invisible village is also one of the seven wonders of India...some of the artisans are even National award winners ...

These artistic villagers practice various forms of traditional Odisha arts: pattachitra (Their specialty) , tal chitra, silk painting, stone carving, coconut painting, betel nut painting, papier mache & masks, cowdung toys and ganjappa playing cards. The motifs for these artworks are based on mythology, religion, folklore and erotica.(Courtesy:Doright.in).

These paintings also happens to be the only means of livelihood for these poor,humble ,passionate,hard working artisans.

Just as Debbie Debaun said," Painting is like childbirth.It's a precious gift that is labor intensive and drains one's energy. A natural high comes with creation."
Well said !! Needless to mention ,all these art and crafts/paintings involves intricate designs ,details ,creativity which makes them unique and one of a kind .Just like the above saying, each and every work of art therefore demands ample time ,disciplined efforts & necessary resources.A single art work can take about days and months .

 That also reminded me what "William F.Reese" said ,"Painting is damn hard work, no way around it. In fact, if you are having too much fun, you probably aren't paying attention. It is, however, satisfying and fulfilling, especially after an honest effort."

This is exactly the motto of every artisan in this humble village .That being said,price of each and every unique piece of art can range from  Rs.500 to 2 lakhs .....Picture this !!! Picture perfect right ? Common sense ...fair enough ...That's what an exceptionally dedicated,talented artisan deserves. HOWEVER..

                                               INTERVAL- watch this trailer meantime ..

Just like every (almost) movie or a story ,there is a villain here as well ..they are called"THE MIDDLEMEN" ,who buy those masterpieces from them at a minimal amount and sell them at higher price at the market ,making huge profits thereby leaving the artisans with hardly any other choice other than accepting and continuing their work passionately without much fuss  but NOT ANYMORE....Enough is enough !!

It's high time to kick these villains out of the picture and bring the real heroes forward ,to honor the people who deserve the most,to make their life as colorful as their paintings ,rewarding ,appreciating,known and heard ...

Besides,it's not just about their true recognition to the world but also about their survival ...they solely depend upon this income to run their home and passion(art),inspire the new generations to learn and carry on and most importantly they silently contribute to the cultural heritage of India...They deserve more !!

So,that was the dark half story so far ...and this is how we can make a bright happy ending to it :

The Tata Capital's Initiative  called ,"#Do right!" /Half Stories: The Journey of Doing Right is an humble effort of doing right to the right people in different areas of life .(in simple terms).

So,to provide justice to these deserving but ignored artisans,they are building a website exclusively to showcase across the globe, every artist's individual creations,promote and sell without the interference of any middlemen directly to the interested buyers.

What anyone interested in supporting this cause should do is either contribute any amount or atleast spread the words across through social medias or blog like I am doing my bit (being part of IndiBlogger and IndiChange !).....Please do your bit if you can!!.."Sharing is caring"!!..Together we can make a huge difference and make someone's life worth !!

(Today morning I saw this mail from Indiblogger-If you have the time, please submit your post about the artists of Raghurajpur by midnight on the 21st of March. A post on your blog would be priceless to these deserving artists.-> This statement motivated me to write for sure and do my bit.If it can help then I'll  and this is my first submission to Indibloggers - Not sure if it'll inspire others but I really hope it does in some way!!)

“I can't change the fact that my paintings don't sell. But the time will come when people will recognize that they are worth more than the value of the paints used in the picture.” ~ Vincent van Gogh quotes (Dutch Painter, one of the greatest of the Post-Impressionists, 1853-1890)

and I believe it's TIME!!!....Kudos to the Tata Capital's initiative and all those who are supporting this cause !!

It's time Raghurajpur vaasis to drift those dark clouds away and shine as bright as a Sun !! ........God bless !!

Satyamev Jayathey,

Patiala Chicken |Punjabi Chicken curry straight from Patiala...


This is something special
To all the Paajis and all the Parjayias
This is Pataila House in it......

Laungda lashkara oh baby tera jaan se pyaara
Oh baby ainve chamka dil saada
Ke dikh gaya pyaar yeh Patial di

Remember this song....from "Patiala House" starring Akshay Kumar and Anushka Sharma....I love that song because I love Punjabi songs in Bollywood movies a lot...and I am a biig fan of Punjabis in general...as they are full of life and they love Food :D ...and their foods are laden with loads of ghee ,butter in short not calorie friendly but their ultimate motto of life is to enjoy life to the fullest ...Oye chak de phatte :D.....I also envy mens wearing turbans because they have inside that ,hairs longer than me(shh don't spread this ...between me & U ..shecret !) and ladies wearing lovely patiala suit (Yeah after coming to US I wanna wear salwar kameez/patiala and anarkalis and when I am in India I feel like wearing Jeans/skirts..donno what's wrong with me :O..weirdo me !! and moreover here salwar kameez are too costly ..How can I not envy..U see !! )  ...I am also a big fan of Santa Banta jokes (No pun intended):D...One of my biigest wish is to visit "The Golden temple of Amritsar " ,the sacred shrine of Sikhs one day...God willing I'll!!....Now when is that gonna happen no idea ..but then there is another way to travel to atleast Patiala ..well through "Food"!..that's the good thing about food ,when we prepare foods of different places it's like a culinary travel to those places....and so I made Chicken-da-Patiala to experience Punjab in a culinary way for the time being.....If you wish you can too...

Here is the recipe for Chicken Patiala...

Chicken Patiala

(Inspired by Sanjeev Kapoor's)


Chicken pieces - 800gram
Onion,medium ,lenghthwise - 1 no.
Green Chillies - 3-4 nos.
Ginger-Garlic paste - 1 tablespoon each
Tomato,lengthwise - 1 no.
Red chilli powder - 2 teaspoons
Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Yogurt - 1/4 cup
Salt to taste
Oil/Ghee - 4 Tablespoons

To Grind :
Coriander seeds - 2 tablespoons
Cumin seeds - 1 1/2 teaspoons
Cinnamon - 1 inch stick
Cloves - 4-5 nos.
Green Cardamom - 4-5 nos.
Black cardamom - 2-3 nos.
Black peppercorns - 1 tablespoons
Dried red chillies - 2-3 nos.

  • Dry roast everything under "To grind" until fragrant and set aside to cool.Then coarsely ground them.
  • Marinate the chicken pieces with red chilli powder,turmeric powder,yogurt and 1/2 tablespoon of Ginger Garlic paste,mix everything well and keep it in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile heat oil in a pan,add onions and green chilli and saute everything until Onions get  browned.
  • Add the tomatoes,saute until soft and mushy.
  • Add the above coarsely ground paste to it.Saute for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the marinated chicken and mix well.Saute for 2-3 minutes.Add 2-3 tablespoons of water.Mix everything.Cover and let it cook on medium to low flame until the chicken is cooked well.
  • Add little more water if the gravy is too thick .Then allow it to cook for a few more minutes.
  • Chicken Patiala is ready to be served.
  • Serve hot with some home made Naan .
I am glad that I have a few recipes in my draft which will keep my bloggu baby running until I am up and running completely....Anyways,no more fretting and frowning here....just smiling and going on...:D

I don't have this curry right now but may be I am going to compensate it by watching "Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana"..Howz that ??:D....Balle balley shava shaavaaa....


Rab Rakha,


17 March 2014

Authentic Malpua with sugar syrup |Bihari cuisine


Mmmmmmmmm Rang barse bheengey chunar wali Rang barsey.............Holi Haiiiiiiiiii.....
The above line is from a famous Bollywood movie,"Silsila" starring the legend Shri Amitabh Bachchan,his reel to real time wife Mrs.Jaya Bachchan and his one time beau,Rekha.
The song says it all...each and every word is a dedication to the festival engulfing India today,the festival of color,festival of love,festival of fun unlimited..
 Yes,Today is "Holi",the insane colorful festival of India....today you can hardly identify any Indians in particular as they are covered in layers of multi colors as if they are celebrating oneness
,unity in diversity,..it's all about happiness,it's all about togetherness,it's all about humanity ...that's exactly why this festival is one of my favourite and it makes me feel proud to be an 
Indian because though it's basically a Hindu festival..it's not restricted to just Hindus..it's beyond that ..it's a festival of everyone residing in India..no caste,creed,religion,language,
sex,age is a bar...a day when everyone just let go everything ,from tip to toe,mind to heart...it's pure,it's colorful.....that's the beauty of this festival....THAT'S HOLI....
 I am as usual feeling so nostalgic again ....being far away from my motherland ...that's what happens..no matter how you celebrate Hoil abroad it can never match the authenticity of the 
fervor experienced in Indiaaa and I am unfortunately not even celebrating that....though my heart is...rekindling those bygone good days of my childhood days..


The celebration would start a month before ,all of a sudden all those boring markets would look colorful like a rainbow's reflection..every face beaming with joy preparing to welcome all 
colors and give their dull  life a facelift and MEEEE ? well ,I'll be like Cute Sad Smiley...coz every holi used to be  either in between my school exams or starting the next day and I would feel utterly 
helpless ...pretty angry...cursing school, teachers ,books..aahhh what not..
All those DD1 blockbuster movies especially of "Meera" ,the devotional one,yeah I loved them...and all those aromas gushing from North, South, East, West ,from my neighbors house 
preparing festival delicacies... I would be left Bang head on wall.............but whatever,when the air is so colorful how long can I resist to not blend in...my dad dearest would buy me a pichkari 
( hand pump used to fill colorful water to play with) and I would be desperately waiting for  his arrival from the shop and then next day I would get 1-2 hrs to play with my friends and 
it would be a colorful bath :D..ending in loads of facial colors...my bro enjoying with his friends ,my Dad would lock up our gate after a while, seeing a few boys intoxicated with 
Bhaang playing and goofing around lol...and afternoon all my neighboring aunties  would gang up and visit my house and force my mother out and everyone would just 
apply her face with all colors ..she would just coy and be like ,"Nahi jee bass basss" lol :D...but her friends would be like ,"Really?"...bura na mano aaj holi hai behen..:D:D...that's another
 beauty of this festival,...anyone can be just themselves, be nice yet their naughtiest and they can just get away by saying so,"Bura na mano aaj Holi hai" ...and yes it's all about accepting
 and forgiving others and just enjoying....

By evening everyone would become somewhat normal..they then do look like they are infact from this Planet Earth and not some alien from a colorful planet:D ....and then everyone would be visiting each and other's house and enjoying the varieties of festival delicacies.....and one such Holi special scrumptious sweet/dessert I remember and I simply adore the most is none other than "Bihari Malpua".....OMG!!!...it is a sweet heaven in itself..I can have 10 in one go....and I would only stop to say,"Bura na mano aaj holi hai" ;D........

Malpua is a sweet delicacy which is a major part of Bihari cuisine ...it is like small eggless pancakes with goodness of Banana,coconut and dry fruits,little spices,milk turned into a batter ,either shallow or deep fried especially in Ghee/clarified butter and dunked in chashni/sugar syrup..if you have a sweet tooth like me,I bet you can't have just one....it is so sweet that I bet there won't be any bitterness left in your heart in anyway lol...How sweet right ?:P

Check out yourself ,Lemme give you the recipe ,the "Authentic (in taste) Bihari one" as there are other ways to prepare them as well ..it varies from a few North Indian states to state but here's to the Bihari version with a healthy twist:

Bihari Malpua


Whole wheat flour - 2 cups
Bananas,ripe - 2 nos.
Coconut,grated - 1 cup
Dry fruits (Pistachio,almonds,cashewnuts)- 1 tablespoon (optional)
Fennel powder - 3 tablespoons
Almond Milk/Milk - 1 cup +
Baking powder - 1/4 teaspoon(optional)
Ghee for deep frying

For sugar syrup :
Sugar - 2 cups
Water - 2 cups
Milk - 2 tablespoons
Cardamom pods,crushed - 2-3 nos.
Saffron strands - 1/4 teaspoon (optional)


  • First of all prepare the sugar syrup by boiling the sugar and water together ,once the sugar dissolves,reduce the flame to medium ,add the milk,cardamom pods.After a few minutes white colored impurities will be floating,remove them with a spoon and allow it to boil until the solution gets thickened like a glue like consistency. Add the saffron strands.Put off the flame.
  • Meanwhile prepare the puas - Put bananas,coconut,dry fruits,fennel powder and almond milk in a blender and make a puree.
  • Take a bowl ,add whole wheat flour,baking powder and the above puree and mix everything well until it becomes a batter with a thick pouring consistency  .
  • Heat a Kadai/deep pan with ghee/oil and pour a ladle of batter in round shapes like a mini pancake .
  • Cook both the sides until they get brown and fully cooked on medium to low flame.
  • Now put the puas into the sugar syrup and allow them to dunk in properly inside out.
  • Serve hot or cold.Choice is yours.
  • You don't necessarily have to use the blender to make it a puree but I do to make sure the bananas are mashed properly and coconuts are mixed in well too.
  • I used whole wheat flour instead of the All purpose flour and there wasn't even a bit taste difference.That's healthy right.
  • I used Almond milk instead of regular milk to make it more flavorful and healthy as well.
  • Baking powder is used to make fluffier puas instead of thin ones.
  • Fennel powder is a must.
  • Ghee gives the authentic taste ,you can use the regular oil as well.
Happy Holi India............:).................

Holi Ke Din Dil Khil Jaate Hain Rangon Men Rang Mil Jaate Hain
Gile Shiqave Bhuul Ke Dosto Dushman Bhi Gale Mil Jaate Hain.......

O Rang barseeyyyyyyy.............................................................

Whoever reads this,may you have not just this day but everyday vibrant ,colorful and beautiful.......


13 March 2014

Kabuli Chana Biryani|Chickpeas/Garbanzo flavored rice|Chholay Biryani


Today's food of the day is "Kabuli chana /Chholay Biryani aka Chickpeas/Garbanzo biryani " - A healthy flavorful biryani !!!

Garbanzo is a legume that is so healthy that it can supply the daily requirement of fibers,it helps in controlling the blood sugar and insulin level ,lowers cholesterol as it is essentially cholesterol and trans fat free,it is a good source of protein especially for vegetarians,loaded with Magnesium and iron as well.So,with all these health benefits ,a one pot meal in the form of biryani is a sure bet you won towards good health and good tasty meal.Right?

So,here is how I make a healthy ,yummy biryani -

Kabuli Chana Biryani


Basmati Rice - 1 1/2 cup
Garbanzo/Chickpea/Kabul chana/Vella kadala - 1 cup
Onion,medium,chopped length wise - 1 no.(optional)
Green chillies - 3-4 nos.
Ginger-Garlic paste - 2 teaspoons
Tomato,medium,chopped - 1 no.
Red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1 teaspoon
Cumin powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Coriander powder- 1/2 teaspoon
Garam Masala powder/any Biryani powder (I used & recommend Shan Biryani masala) - 1-2 teaspoons
Yogurt/curd - 1/2 cup
Fresh mint leaves,chopped - Handful
Fresh coriander leaves,chopped - Handful
Coconut milk - 1 tablespoon
Cardamom(green) - 3-4 nos.
Cloves -2-3 nos.
Cinnamon - 1 ' 
Bay leaves -2-3 nos.
Lemon juice - 1 teaspoon
salt to taste
Ghee/Oil - 2-3tablespoons


  • Soak Kabuli chana overnight in about 3-4 cups of water in a deep bowl.
  • Next day,first soak rice in about 3 cups of water for half-1 hour.Later drain and keep it ready.
  • Meanwhile drain the chickpeas kept overnight and pressure cook in about four cups of water with salt and little turmeric powder for about 3-4 whistles until cooked.
  • Now heat a deep pan with about 1 tablespoon ghee or canola oil ,put cardamom,cloves,cinnamon and bay leaves and on low flame saute them for a minute until fragrant.
  • Add the drained rice and saute for a few minutes.Then add about 3 1/2 cup of water to it and mix everything well and boil it until they are 90% cooked.Drain it and keep it aside covered (retain the spices though).
  • Heat the rest oil/ghee on a saucepan,add the onions,greenchilli,sprinkle little salt and fry until onions are translucent and browned .
  • Add Ginger-garlic paste to it and saute for a few minutes until the raw flavor disappears.Add red chilli powder,coriander powder,cumin powder ,turmeric powder and Garam Masala powder and a teaspoon of water and saute for a minute.
  • Add the chopped tomato and coconut milk and mix well until tomato gets soft and mushy.
  • Add the cooked chickpeas to it and mix everything well.Cook covered on medium-low flame for 2 minutes so that chickpeas becomes flavorful.
  • Later remove the cover ,add the curd and mix everything well.Let it cook on high flame if the gravy is too thin.We want just a little thick gravy.
  • Preheat the oven at 400 degree F.
  • Grease a big baking dish.Make 3 layers.Starting with the first layer of rice,followed by the chickpea gravy,then another layer of rice.Add the mint and coriander leaves on the top .Sprinkle the lemon juice.
  • Cover the baking dish with an aluminum foil or tight lid to make it airtight.
  • Bake it for 15-20 minutes.
  • Serve hot with spicy pickle and yogurt dip/Raita.

06 March 2014

Tamarind rice|Imli Bhath|Pulihora/Andhra cuisine|Puliyodarai\Tamil Iyengar cusine


"Sometimes life is not about what you want to do,but what you ought to do."

I read that quote today in Facebook ,quoted none other than by Chetan Bhagat,the well known Indian author and his novels are being converted to Bollywood movies lately like 3 idiots,Kai po che and now releasing soon"2states" which is in fact inspired by his own personal life -he being a Punjabi and his wife being a South Indian....well,can't wait to watch ...whoaaa!!...again I got distracted as nowadays I am....

So,boomeranging to that quote ,it's so true and that quote today gave me a wake up call,zor ka jhatka dheere se....coz what I want to do as of now is to just chill and take it easy but "What I ought to do" is to bounce back to my virtual life and literally give life back to my wonder baby bloggy which is really in a wonder modeBeing confused..what the hell happened to my virtuall maama :D....well,maama was taking rest and mished you sho much bloggu baby ...and Maama is here now yuhuuu :P

Today I am gonna post my favorite rice recipe,thoda khatta,thoda chatpatta,tangy and tasty....with my favorite ingredient,Tamarind the great/imli in hindi,puli in Malayalam...I've no idea why I love Tamarind so much....if I would have told this to my Indian friend now,they would have asked me ,"Ohoooo Any good news sweety ??"Happy wink.


I wonder when I'll say Yes,yEs,yeS.....but alas..not yet...sighhh....that's the way it is..but then "Good things take time to happen".

Anyways,I love Tamarind since my childhood days..playing with my childhood friends"Ghar ghar" where our all preparations used to be made with Tamarind ,water,sugar..and no wonder why my mother always used to find ways and means to hide those tamarinds at home but to no availHuge Smile.

 Now whenever she would use Tamarind she tells me that all those memories rekindles before her eyes and she misses me a lot...ohh my shweet poor momma ...just kidding I miss my mom everyday too...Sighhh!!!

After marriage it's my hubby who is facing the curse I carry (they say ,I don't)..Everytime we go to the restaurants and if we order any food with tamarind sauce aside,he would be watching me with wonder ,"Why am I emptying the tamarind sauce as if it was the most tastiest dessert they made in disguise?" ...He would be like "People will think you are eating after a long time and I am not buying  and giving you anything ..seriously??"...However I am like..Whatttt..did you say anything hon ??You Talking to Me

 The way I was crazy about this Tamarind made my mother suspicious as if I had some kind of vitamin deficiency or she was acting up to emotionally blackmail me ....not sure of that....but I did a little 007 on that I was amazed to know how healthy Tamarind is infact - It is full of antioxidants that fight against brutal disease like Cancer,promotes healthy heart,lowers cholesterol,heals inflammation,reduces fever and cold,acts like a mild laxative ..inshort ,tamarind is a rich source of vitamins, fiber, potassium, magnesium and other nutrients necessary for good health. (Mom this is for ya darling)

I am so glad to know that..now who can stop me from enjoying TamarindsDancing with joy.

I was more happy to know that there is something called Tamarind rice ,which happens to be a famous Andhra cuisine from my Hubby's place...and his favourite too and my favoritest (new word :O) )....

Tamarind Rice


Basmati rice,cooked - 3 cup
Tamarind juice - 1 - 1 & 1/2 cup 
Turmeric powder - 1 teaspoon
Chilli powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Coriander powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Cumin powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Jaggery powder - 1 teaspoon
Asafoetida - a pinch
Fenugreek - 1 teaspoon
Chana dal - 1 teaspoon
Mustard seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Dry red chilli - 1-2 broken piece
Ginger ,chopped - 1 teaspoon
Peanuts - 2 tablespoons
Coconut powder - 2 tablespoons (optional)
Sesame seeds,roasted & crushed lightly- 1 tablespoon 
Curry leaves - a stalk
Oil - 1 tablespoon


  • Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds,followed by chana dal,fenugreek,dry red chili,asafoetida and curry leaves.
  • Add peanuts ,roast it until done or microwave peanuts in microwave for a minute and add to the above pan.
  • Add chopped ginger,turmeric powder,chilli powder,coriander powder,cumin powder,jaggery ,sesame seeds and coconut powder to it.Saute for a minute on low heat.
  • Add the Tamarind juice to it and allow it to boil and let it simmer on low flame until it becomes a thick gravy and oil oozing on the top.
  • Add the cooked rice into it, mix everything well and cook until all water evaporates on medium flame and everything gets mixed well with rice.
  • Serve hot with raita ,pickle and pappads.
  • While preparing rice,add 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric and salt in it to get a good yellowish color and rice should be separate and not mushy..basmati rice is preferred and if it is leftover rice that's even better.
  •  For extracting tamarind pulp/juice- Soak a lemon size tamarind in about 1-1 /2 cup of warm water for 30 minutes and then squeeze and extract the pulp .
  • This rice tastes better the next day.