28 August 2015

Mambazha Puliserry|Maanga Puliserry|Mango Yogurt kerala style curry|Kerala sadya recipe


Once upon a time,Mambazha puliserry a.k.a ripe mango sweet and sour curry used to create chaos at my home.When I was shmall,I failed to understand why the heck did my mom use a ripe delicious simBly irresistible mango into a curry .I thought this is her one of the way to make me eat rice and curry without a miss.I even thought she invented this curry !

 Guess what ,that made the matter worse, I wouldn't even dare or care to touch or taste that curry as if I wanted to teach mom a lesson - Amma , Mango is a "FRUIT" not a vegetable . For a while, I couldn't even imagine in my wildest dream how a mango would taste as a curry .

I like the mango pieces get little mashed up...
Gone are those days,being away from my mother and motherland ,now everything is delish . Sometimes I sit here drooling and  wondering what was wrong with me , how could I cry over mom-made foods and gave my mom such a hard time then.No wonder now I crave for anything and everything ...All I can do is rekindle,recreate those recipes at least and feel my mom's presence near me always....

So,finally I am coming in terms with turning a ripe mango into a curry , yes I love Mambazha puliserry , I not only enjoy with hot boiled rice and some spicy side dish ,I can even drink that curry like a dessert , as it is :D..."As I always say,Love is blind people !" :D


Mambazha puliserry is a Kerala special mango-yogurt based sweet and sour curry , which holds a very important place in Kerala Onam/Vishu sadya/feast.

This is how I make Kerala special Mambazha puliserry recipe at home in a kachiyastyle :

Mambazha Puliserry 

Ripe mango,medium size - 1 no.
Green chilies - 3 nos
Red chilly powder - 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Water - 1-2 cups
Coconut,grated - 3/4 cup
Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
Yogurt/Sour curd - 1 cup
Coconut oil - 1 -2 tablespoons
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Fenugreek seeds - 1 teaspoon
Broken red chillies - 3-4 nos
Curry leaves,a few


Pls watch my video that will show you exactly how I make it.

Notes :
  1.  You can even omit chopping mango pieces and put the medium size mangoes as it is after peeling.If you get small mangoes ,then just peel and put the entire mango into the curry.
  2. If it's too sweet for you,sprinkle some fenugreek powder at the end.Rest tips are there in the video which is must to follow .
  3. I like the mango pieces little mashed up as it makes the curry more flavorful but if you are using full mango then you should be careful not to...
  4. This curry tastes best next day when all the flavors completely sets in.
SO,that's my Mambazha puliserry kerala style,a sweet and sour love story..........Enjoy it as a part of Kerala Sadya or simBly with boiled rice and pair it with some spicy side dish/thorans/mezhukupurratis/fish fry/chicken fry etc .....

Mambazha puliserry using whole mango here...

My other Onam sadya recipes here ...
Onam wishes to you and your family ,

26 August 2015

Ethakka cherupayyar eriserry|Baby Plantains mung beans curry|Kerala Sadya recipe


What did the baby plantain call his grandmother?

 Answer : Ba-"nana". Pointing and laughing

Jokes apart,I always loved the grandmother ,Banana than this baby ,plantains .During childhood days,I wondered if baby plantains were a vegetable or a fruit .I used to have a shhh-ecret conversation with these plantains (yes,I talk to plants & animals,they are so approachable and selfless than humans ),asking them if they will ever grow in size ,I guess they would have said,"You need a company after all " and when I asked ,will they ever turn yellow and guess what they answered me ,when they got ripe, by saying "how about black ,eh ?"

Did you know ?

According to the Better Health Foundation and Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) —the plantain is actually a…"FRUIT",an unripened banana! 


Really ??? then why the heck do we not eat it like a fruit ,why do we eat it as a vegetable mostly in curries,chips,soups etc ...now that's an utter insult to the fruit kingdom .Don't you agree with me ??

Needless to say,I hated it ! My mommy darling would always preach me (as I do here-like mom like daughter :D ),reminding me how nutritious these "fruits" were . My virtual health advisor,Dr.Google totally seconds that too. Guess what :

A cup of sliced, cooked plantains provides (Source : healthyeating.safegate.com)  :
  1. Vitamin A - containing 1,818 international units, more than 50 percent of the recommended intake of 2,333 international units for women and the 3,000 international units recommended for men. Vitamin A improves your immune system,eye health, physical growth and development and also prevents various cancers and skin diseases.
  2. 17 milligrams of vitamin C.
  3. 1/3 of the vitamin B-6 you need each day.
  4. 49 milligrams of magnesium .
  5. 716 milligrams of potassium.
  6. 5 to 10 percent of the iron you need daily.
  7. 27 milligrams of thiamin, a B-vitamin.
  8. 24 grams of carbohydrates - Though green plantains are starchy for a diabetes diet ,if prepared without lots of fat, sugar or salt, then they are one of the best starchy vegetable options, according to the American Diabetes Association. 
After couple of hours/Next day - this curry may become thick !
So,I am trying to compromise my hatred towards it by incorporating it into my diet by making a few recipes like green plantain cutlet and also a very popular signature Kerala Onam/Vishu sadya food item, Ethakka erissery . Ethakka erissery is basically a coconut based curry made with ethakka aka green baby plantains and cherupayar aka mung beans or mung dal .Addition of mung beans gives an extra healthy boost to this curry as mung dals are considered to be one of the highest source of protein ,fiber,phytonutrients .

              [Related : How to make mathanga eriserry ]

Last year I made Mathanga erissery ,made with pumpkin and mung beans . My other Onam sadya recipes here ...

So,this is how I make ethakka eriserry ,a kerala special baby plantain and mung beans recipe.

Ethakka|Vazhakka cherupayar eriserry


Baby plantains / baby ethakka/vazhakka - 2 nos.
Mung beans/Moong daal/Cherupayar - 1/2 cup
Salt to taste
Red chilly powder - 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Pepper powder - 1 teaspoon (optional)
Coconut,grated - 1 cup + 1 tablespoon
Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
Garlic cloves- 2 nos.
Curry leaves ,a few
Chopped shallots/kunj ulli - 1-2 nos
Broken red chillies - 2-3 nos
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Fennel seeds - 1 teaspoon (optional)
Coconut oil - 1-2 tablespoons

Method : Please watch my quick video that will show you how to exactly make this Kerala sadya recipe.

Note :
  • Baby green ethakkas are also called Vazhakka (and vice versa) in some places.
  • If you pre-soak the mung beans overnight,you may have to pressure cook it for a whistle or two ,I didn't ,but then it may vary from one pressure cooker to another until you get soft,cooked mung beans.
  • Some prefer to leave the plantains chunks as it is in the curry and some like me like it partially mashed .Some like it little dry and some like me prefer it like a gravy so please adjust water accordingly.
 Enjoy this curry as a part of Onam sadya or whenever you wish with boiled rice and some spicy side dish/fish fry or chicken/mutton/beef fry ,pickles etc,as this curry is not spicy at all .Or you can enjoy it simBly by eating it with papaddum and little neyi,ghee,clarified butter,thoran/mezhukapuratti..typical sadya style...

Now if these plantains can't change into fruits,then we need to treat it as a vegetable ...YES I'LL !!Yeah Text

Happy Onam wishes,

22 August 2015

How to make homemade paneer using broken milk|sour milk


I used to always cling to my dad and accompany him to get some freshly squeezed milk from moo (cow) during my childhood days.I used to so look forward to it that one day while I was busy climbing my windows in living room like a little spider woman in making,I slipped and fell on my face to the ground. That's how I lost  my first ever ,couple of  teeth-s ,broke not one but a set of front teeth-s and I transitioned from a spider woman to a little vampire who just quenched her thirst of blood ...very memorable day of my life indeed as not only a few teeth-s passed away ,rest were put behind bars ; well,my teeth got it's first taste of dental brace ! ...point ?..that much excited and one of my favorite pastime with my dad it was...milk most of the time reminds me those bygone days...Dad's little girl always ......


I also remember how amma darling would heat the raw milk we just got from the milkman; to pasteurize it naturally before using it for anything.Those days I never saw her buying any milk packets as such .So,guess what, after landing in US, this mere milk really challenged not only my culinary knowledge but also my common sense .

During those initial days,I used to do just what amma did,heat all the milk from carton and once it cooled down ,I used to pour it back into the carton .It became a game with carton that I think even milk carton hated me for! This happened for a while until one day, after making tea ,it not only looked funny but also smelled funny .I was thinking did I make a tea or a dessert or are my sense of organs already becoming defective ...


I still dared to give this tea to my better 1/2 BUT with a warning that it tastes something from a extra terrestrial world though.Yellow Smiley confusedHe replied,"Well honey,the milk has gone bad..did you check the milk carton-the expiry date ? " . Though I smirked back saying,"Aaah expiry date...I th..thought so !" and he was like ..great that means no tea today ..now that's a good morning indeed !! Thanks baby -made my day!" ...I gave him a pep lecture about how healthy a cup of black tea can be ...which of course didn't work  !!

Now you tell me what's wrong with a cuppa of black tea ?Confused shrug...yeah,when I made black tea then,it used to look and taste little bitter ...but still... Shy Whistler


It continued for a while ,I confess with a heavy heart,that I used to even throw milk when it went bad not once but many times.Since wasting food is not something I or my family prefers,that forced me to research on this milk and milk cartons here ; I mentally noted the basics but I do forget couple of points so thought of noting it here and sharing it with others too.

Basics-Raw milk should always be pasteurized at home.Please read this article(click this link) which will guide you to pasteurize milk at home properly.My two cents, while pasteurizing milk at home ,always heat little water in your pan first ,bring it to the boiling point and then add the milk to prevent it from scorching

Milk we buy from store is already pasteurized (here in US mentioned on the can) and there are different types of milk expiration terminology used on every milk cartons which differs from state to state :

  1. Sell by date - Usually ,one should keep an eye on the sell by date on the milk carton which indicates the final date, a store can legally sell the milk and a consumer can usually enjoy it.
  2. Some states have a best used /use by date that indicates the date ,the milk is believed to be at peak flavor. After that it may be edible but the taste may be deteriorating.
  3. Expiry date - By this date,the milk should be tossed for good.


A milk can go bad even before the sell by date or its expiry date.It also depends upon how milk was stored,handled before you purchase from the store and also how soon and apt was it stored at home later.The milk should always be maintained cold and covered otherwise the warm temperature or any exposure near heat or light can make the spoilage bacterias active ,shortening the shelf life of the milk thereby.

Other points to remember are :


According to the "Center for Disease Control and Prevention",if you experience a power outage in your area ,then ,if it lasts less than 4 hours then the food in your refrigerator/freezer should be safe to consume.Keep the refrigerator doors closed as much as possible .Otherwise ,put them in a cooler with ice or cold water if possible.

However, the rule of thumb is that even though your milk is past the sell by date on the milk carton ,you may still use it keeping these points in mind :


 Well,that's how I learned a way to reuse my milk past it's sell by date by turning it into paneer after considering those points mentioned above .

Paneer is a very popular Indian cheese all over the world .If you have not , please click here to see how to make Paneer with fresh milk at home .

Now I will show you how to make a paneer from broken milk or sour milk or milk gone little bad or spoiled. Please watch my video that will demonstrate how exactly I usually make another paneer recipe using broken milk ...


  • This paneer is made using 1/2 gallon / 2 liter milk ,approx (whole fat ).(Makes about 2 cups of paneer cubes).Paneer should always be made with whole fat milk to get tasty ones .
  • These Paneers may not taste as good as paneer made out of fresh milk.It will be very fragile comparatively.
.DISCLAIMER - Spoiled milk should be used carefully though and it's affects may vary from person to person  especially the kids,old people,pregnant women and those with low immunity must be very careful as it may cause them some kind of food poisoning.

So,that's how I not only learned how I can keep the milk bought fresh and longer but also not to throw it with a huge guilt as much as possible and also how to use it safely even after it's sell by date by turning it into something more edible,delish and I believe ,since we are reheating the milk for making paneer here,that kinda pasteurizes further and makes it more safer to eat !!

Now ,I "don't cry over the spilled milk" anymore !

[References -Mentalfloss.com,healthyeating.org,lifehacker.com,eatbydate.com,healthline.com]


18 August 2015

Quick healthy bread with almonds and cranberries


When I was little ,for me, a bread was nothing but a white playground with brown boundaries, where, I could paint it with colorful jams or pale yellow-ey butter.I loved it so much that I always prayed that amma would keep those breads smothered in mango jams or mixed fruit jams or just butter in my lunch box which amma would hardly do it.For her those breads were not that healthy and moreover I had that unstoppable tendency to finish off those jams and butter at a stretch as if I was self-competing.My body was also very happy as it swelled with pride and I became chubby in denial .


I also remember the tutti fruity bread ,which was another favorite during childhood days,which I had no way but to compete with my brother and he always proved, no matter how chubby I was he was indeed stronger.

When I came to US,any type of  breads were a boon to me especially white ones. Whenever,I saw these breads in supermarkets,they would be luring me saying ,"Pick me up ,I can be your instant breakfast everyday!" . Needless to mention,they were always in my "must buy" item list . However,when my body weight seemed to accumulate into something that even my weighing machine used to make fun of , I consulted my Dr.Google what to do to keep it under control and all the articles said one thing in common,get rid of anything that is in white or made up of white .So,the white playground was no longer enticing to me!


However ,it is undeniable that breads are always a boon as a quick breakfast or a quick snack,so , I started making some quick healthy versions of it .I call it bread cake actually . For instance Zucchini bread ,this quick healthy Banana bread recipe made with whole wheat flour,almonds and cranberries.


                        Whole wheat Banana bread with almonds & cranberries


Whole wheat flour - 2 cups
Baking powder - 1 1/4 teaspoon
Eggs,large - 2 nos
Yogurt - 1 cup
Sugar - 3/4 the cup
Banana,ripe,mashed - 1 no
Oil/butter - 1/2 cup
Almond extract - 1/2 teaspoon
Dry cranberries - 1/2 cup
Sliced almonds - 1 cup

Powdered sugar - 2-3 tablespoon to sprinkle (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F.
  2. Coat a loaf pan (81/2-in*41/2-in),with some butter and keep it aside.
  3. In a medium bowl,whisk together the flour,baking powder and keep it aside.
  4. In another large bowl,whisk together the eggs,yogurt,sugar,oil ,mashed banana and almond extract.
  5. Now add the flour mixture with the wet mixture and mix it well until well combined.Fold in the cranberries to it.
  6. Sprinkle the sliced almonds and little powdered sugar on the top of the bread .
  7. Transfer the batter to the loaf pan and bake it for like 50-65 minutes until golden brown and a wooden pick or a small knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool off completely.
  9. Healthy bread full of goodness is ready.
This bread is a little dense one.To make it more lighter,use sour cream instead of yogurt.You can even omit banana ,I wanted to use my over ripe banana to make the bread sweeter and use less sugar (I used only 1/2 cup sugar) so I just hid it inside this recipe.

This healthy bread is not only my quick breakfast to go sometimes but it is also a pre-workout food as well for my hubby .


Live,love,Eat Deliciously,

15 August 2015

Tri color barfi


 "At the dawn of history, India started on her unending quest, and trackless centuries are filled with her striving and the grandeur of her successes and her failures. Through good and ill fortune alike she has never lost sight of that quest or forgotten the ideals which gave her strength. We end today a period of ill fortune and India discovers herself again.

The achievement we celebrate today is but a step, an opening of opportunity, to the greater triumphs and achievements that await us. Are we brave enough and wise enough to grasp this opportunity and accept the challenge of the future?

Freedom and power brings responsibility

 That's a golden piece of words from the "Tryst of destiny" speech delivered by our first ever Prime Minister of India ,Mr.Jawahar Lal Nehru on the eve of attaining India's Independence day on August 15th,1947.


Today 68 years onto achieving our freedom ,let's not only just celebrate our 69th year of Independence day,but also take some moment off,reflect back,rekindle the lives of people from that era who faced all kinds of hardships we can hardly imagine ,sacrificed their everything, had a heart of gold yet strong as iron,eyes full of compassion yet focused on a single goal-freedom,hands to help yet always ready to fight for rights,legs to carry that body with pride long and far ,mouth to sing ,"Vande mataram",ears to hear that his/her mother,India is finally free and harmonious,head filled with only one thought,"Swaraj"/ My country and it's people,with one philosophy -"United we stand,divided we fall."

Though Britishers are gone,a few got reincarnated today as the people of our country itself-the politicians who are gambling with our country and countrymen.The back-stabbers ,who instead of becoming our role models are in fact devils in disguise.


We had a ray of hope when we got a "people's president" ,who was more into establishing his connection with his countrymen  than the politics.He believed in and inspired the younger generation to utilize their full potential for the upliftment of our country.Unfortunately,that ray got extinguished recently and he even passed away while delivering a lecture to the students of the Indian Institute of Management in Shillong, the state capital of Meghalaya,India .He was none other than our "Missile man",late Shri APJ Abdul Kalam ,the 11th President of India.RIP sir!

I hope our current Prime Minister,Mr.Narendra Modi is someone to look up to.I believe he has what it takes to reform ,re-establish our country and refresh the oath of our "Father of our nation",Gandhi ji and all freedom fighters and will make sure their sacrifices will not go in vain.But then our entire government/political system is like a maze.Some get lost for their good and others though have vision ,are forced to give up eventually.


I wish every Independence day and Republic day of India ,reminds them their true responsibilities towards our nation.Even though India is still a developing nation,our country has got everything ,if not more to become a super developed nation but only if those people will allow it to ...

However,not only those politicians,each and every citizen must be willing to do their bit for our country.For the starters, make humanity our religion without any kind of discrimination ,rest everything will fall in its place . Let's fill our heart with compassion,hands ready to help,legs to carry a weak,head full of pride for our country and it's every countrymen irrespectively ,eye for respecting everyone especially women ,elderly and other religions,mouth not to blame others or speak against another religion or country ,but to speak & act against any injustice .

Let's talk about what we can do as an individual for our country ,lets not just say "Proud to be an Indian" but let's justify it .No matter how much educated we are or where we are,what we do,let's do as much as we can to spread the right awareness by any means.Nothing big nor a lot,just do at least one good deed for the sake of our country & make this life worth .Let us set the apt examples for our younger generation to follow and carry forward ,towards a bright future forever.


 Just like previous years' edible tributes; Tri color Panna cota,tri color popsicle,Tri color custard 
,this year I made this super quick barfi ,quite popular Indian sweet ,with just a few ingredients as another edible homage remembering my motherland,India and all my countrymen. Though I am not a big fan of edible food colors myself ,when it comes to a special occasion like this..I make an exception ,if I can't get an apt natural color substitute for the recipe.:)

Please watch my video which shows exactly how to make an Independence day special food aka instant tri color barfi recipe - 4 minutes(microwave cooking time) = 4 barfis (Microwave sweet) ...
Total setting time = 30-40 minutes or until set.It tastes better next day.

If you are making just a simple barfi then it'll be done by 4 minutes and lesser setting time ,but when you have those layers in it, in different colors ,then comes the role of setting time of 40 minutes or so.

The preparation time may vary from microwave to microwave ,mine is 1000 watt .

As always,I salute the father of our nation,Gandhi ji ,all freedom fighters and even all soldiers at border ,for fighting on behalf of us,providing us freedom,peace,pride,dignity,strength and a life to live well at their expense !My humble gratitude !

Excuse me, the flag didn't come out as I expected but still I want to hoist it-a slice of barfi ! :)

"Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country." ~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Belated independence day wishes to our neighboring country,Pakistan and a very Happy ,proud 69th independence day India !!

Jai Hind,

P.S.:I would also like to dedicate this post to BlogAdda's WOW prompt this weekend celebrating Independence day and I hope not only BlogAdda team and my friends there who will smile but also“Mother India smiled, free from all worries” and accepted my humble tribute .:)

P.P.S: This post is also a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

12 August 2015

Spicy Peanut potato fry


At times we (I and my better 1/2 ) are couch potatoes.Now let me tell you,that is not a "Small potato". It is indeed a "Hot potato"!

Well,are you racking your brains,are your eyes falling out of your eye pockets or are your eyebrows raised like small mount Everest ? Are you ?

Well, stop,Stop,STOP right there.Don't torture your body parts.You look horrible like that.

Alright I can hear you saying,"Then why the heck are you saying so many potatoes...what the hell do you exactly mean ??".

My dear friends,I was just checking your expertise in English and upgrading mine .All those words above that ended with potatoes are nothing but idioms of the word potato .Did you know that ?

If yes,you are hired,help me to polish my grammatical skill in English.If no,you are fired,learn something people ...like ME .


ROFL..I got ya !!...look at your eyes rolling like my fan . well,that's how much I like Potatoes .You see when you love something that bad,you sound and act little crazy ...that's true love :D.

At least,I am like that - be it a person,place,animal,food or anything for that matter !

Ok now let's get to the "meat and potatoes" of this post.

Damn,again another idiom of potato ..Well,well,well, that's my love for potatoes ..wink wink !!

Yep,myself and Honey P,we lovvve potatoes .We often wonder if they hide and grow under ground being afraid of us.


Did you know that -

  1. Potato,Tomato and eggplant are from same plant family.
  2. Another research found out that potatoes not only has lots of essential vitamins,minerals but also can help in lowering blood pressure.
  3.  Some evidence suggests that Potatoes contain a compound known as alpha-lipoic acid, which helps the body to convert glucose into energy ,which can aid in blood glucose control, improve vasodilation ,protect against retinopathy in diabetic patients ,help preserve brain and nerve tissue. (Source:Medicalnewstoday.com)
  4. Research at the Agricultural Research service has shown that potatoes contain a compound called quercetin, which has antioxidant properties aka anti-cancer and anti-tumor properties.(Source:Organicfacts.net
  5. The downside,it is not a low glycemic index food item ,so not that helpful to people who are trying hard to lose weight .Until and unless it is eaten raw/boiled/baked/roasted(with less oil) and not like chips or deep fried ,then it is quite healthy .

 So,today I have a spicy potato recipe that becomes extra healthy because of the additional spices we add and less oil making it totally yummy . It is inspired by our great celebrity Indian chef,Mr.Sanjeev Kapoor's.

Spicy healthy peanut potato recipe


Red potatoes,boiled & cubed- 6-7 nos.
Peanuts,roasted and crushed - 4 tablespoons
Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
Coriander seeds - 1 teaspoon
Cloves - 3-4 nos.
Black Peppercorns- 1 teaspoon
Sesame seeds - 2 teaspoons
Dry red chillies ,broken - 2-3 nos
Black gram - 1 teaspoon
Asafoetida - 1/3 teaspoon
Curry leaves ,a few
Salt to taste
 Oil - 2 tablespoons


1.Dry roast cumin seeds,coriander seeds,cloves,peppercorns and 1 teaspoon of sesame seeds.Add red chillies ,roast until fragrant.Cool it and then grind into a coarse powder.Keep it aside.
2.Heat oil in a pan.Add black gram to it.Allow it to light brown.
3.Add asafoetida,curry leaves ,potato cubes to it and on medium heat,saute until the potatoes turn light brown.
4. Now add the coarsely ground powder to it ,crushed peanuts and 1 teaspoon of sesame seeds and mix everything well.
5.Saute for a few minutes .
6.Spicy peanuts potato is ready !Serve hot with roti,chapathi,rice or like me Quinoa :\

Now,"Don't Let Go of the Potato".....ohhh..another idiom but hey....anything..just for the love of potatoes....

Until we meet next again,you go potato people..wink wink 

Live,laugh,love,eat DELICIOUSLY,

08 August 2015

How to make Paneer at home (Video )


"Say cheese ! " .Those were the two words that my ears heard for the first time ever in my life that gave me a vague idea about "cheese" . My hi-fi IQ ,when I was a little girl with a developing brain and neurons ,even thought "Cheese" was in fact the present tense of the word "Choose" ;like ,Cheese,choose,chosen !!

It was during my favorite part of going to school - "Lunch breaks" ,that I realized, there is another story behind the word "Cheese" .Being brought up in North India ,most of my classmates were North Indians,whose lunch box emitted that mouthwatering aromas since first period of the class itself and made me utterly restless and piqued my curiosity until the lunch break. Being a South Indian,my lunch box used to be mostly Idli-dosa which my North Indian friends were crazy about and being scared of their craziness ,humble me would always giveaway my lunchbox without even being asked for and the biggest reason being,how else would I return my lunch box to my amma darling completely clean and done .


In exchange, of course, my equally humble friends would give me their lunch boxes .Most of the time,I would find these cubes floating in different types of curries which even though was in my hand ,my friend would certainly pick a cube or two without fail .I was so busy in eating that I didn't even bother to waste my precious lunch break time asking what exactly these things were called ..you know as the Malayalam saying goes," 'Appam thinnal pozhe, kuzhi ennano??("Just eat the appam/a Kerala food item, don't count the moulds "- meaning -Just enjoy the final product ,don't worry about its whereabouts.)

As I grew up,whenever I went to my friend's birthday parties or a North Indian wedding or festivals I would again come across these white square-y things swimming in different curries respectively.

One day my friend said, "Paneer khaogi?" /(Wanna eat Paneer?) .Since it sounded like Paani meaning water in Hindi and even Neer meant liquid,I thought ,it is some kind of North Indian drink ! Yes,You are right - My hi-fi IQ !!


Later in the evening,my friend finally introduced me to those square-y,cube-y things drowning in those curries as if crying SOS .She said,"Ye le Paneer,aaj maa ne fresh banaya hai!"( Mom made fresh Paneer today-try it! ).Aaaahann..and finally I had my tube lit moment ,that's exactly the mystery behind Paneer was finally solved.

My amma never made Paneer or any paneer related curries as far as I can remember.That was the main reason why I never knew about these square-y ,cube-y whitey paneer . However, the taste of those fresh homemade paneer always lingered in my taste buds forever.


I did try some store bought ones ,but they failed to impress my palate and rekindle the fresh homemade paneer's taste.It was after I became the ultimate in charge of my wonder kitchen(my old blog's name ) in U.S. ,that I tried my hand referring to different recipes online ,failed sometimes ,proving this saying wrong,"Don't cry over the spilt milk ", and that saying right ,"Practice makes a man/woMan perfect " and eventually,came out with a successful way of making paneer at home.

To those who don't know,Paneer is the famous ,one and only Indian cheese ,that can be easily prepared at home .All you need - Milk,any food acid like lemon juice,vinegar,yogurt or even with any leftover whey etc ,Muslin cloth and colander.

Paneer is widely used in North Indian dishes due to the eminence of milk in their cuisine.Paneer/Panir is in fact the go-to cheese in most of the South Asian countries .


There are two types though - Firm paneer/Ponir/Panir used in different curries and soft paneer known as "Chenaa/Chhena or Chhana" used for making delectable sweets/ North Indian desserts.

Paneer is in fact a very protein rich food with many health benefits ,though not that calorie-friendly.It is most sought after protein for non-meat eaters/vegetarians and equally enjoyed by the non-vegetarians as well.Paneer curries despite of being sumptuous and expensive,rules every menu in most of the Indian restaurants all over North India.

In US,I've seen my American friends who are equally if not the biggest fan of this Indian cheese .The reason being the simplicity and the "It factor" that this cheese is an un-aged,acid set and can be made by anyone at home with a few fresh organic ingredients,totally preservative free.

So,you see, how in the world ,I could have not tried my crazy hand and come up with the foolproof recipe to make Paneer with milk in my humble abode .

So,this is how I make homemade Paneer cheese with lime/lemon:-

Paneer recipe made at home


(Makes about 2 cups of paneer cubes)

Organic Whole milk - 1/2 gallon/ 2 liter (approx)
Fresh organic Lemon juice - 1/2 cup

Method: Pls watch my quick video that will show you clearly how to make it properly .

Note :

  1. Always use Organic whole milk ,but if you are calorie conscious, you can use 1% or 2% fat reduced milk.The skim milk,fat free milk or the Ultra Heat temperature(UHT) pasteurized milk will not yield apt paneer cubes as hardly any cream will be left in such milks.

Hope you'll like it .Say CHEESE ,keep smiling always!!:D

Live,love,laugh,eat DELICIOUSLY,

04 August 2015

Barilla Penne Pasta recipe -An Italian affair


 'Life is a combination of magic and pasta.'  ~ Federico Fellini

Life is the best-est magician I've ever seen and I am it's wonder child ; it gave me surprises after surprises from time to time and made me go totally in awe of it -sometimes happy ,sometimes sloppy. Same thing happened when I came across these surprisingly cute shaped food items ,famously known as PastaSpaghetti,Macaroni,Farfalle,Fettuccine,Penne,shell,Fussilli,Rigatoni to name a few .Honestly,I never ever saw (other than in some Hollywood movies) or even tasted or knew these names or there are more of it's kind until I left India.

Well ,if it was not Mr.Federico Fellini,it would have been my better 1/2 who would have coined this saying for sure.I think I've told you once,twice or thrice ,or if you are not aware ,there is another reason why I call my better 1/2 "Honey "P" "."P"izza,"P"asta,"P"uttu,"P"avvakka etc etc any foody- goody item that starts with letter "P" is his utter weakness even more than the letter "M" ("M"e!) .Breaking heart .


As genius people like you might have already guessed it,he was the one who introduced me to "Pasta" and my better 1/2 who was head over heels over her,the Pasta,set up a date .A threesome!! (Now keep your dirty mind under control hahaha...Funny No) .Honey P,Myself & she,Pasta- An edible Indo-Italian rendezvous !! 

Well,she failed to impress yours truly though. So,I brought her home. We still didn't get along well. Whenever I tried to makeover her (read:cook) - she either became jiggly,or mushy and sometimes stiff as a stick as if she wanted to spank me :D.Not to mention,honey P,didn't approve it either.This and this versions were good .But still ,I was not at all impressed ....the "WOW" factor was missing somehow,until I bought ,"Barilla's (Italy's #1 brand of pasta), Penne Veggie Pasta " ,which is made with fresh carrots and tomato purees. Each 3.5 oz portion of Barilla Veggie provides 20% of the daily recommended amount of vegetables.


It has the natural color of the vegetables it contains.Moreover,it also has sufficient Vitamin A,C,Calcium,Iron,Phosphorus,,fiber and protein as well .

And do I've to tell you ,"I was sold" !! Now that is impressive !! Ain't it ?

Since I was already impressed by its content ,I strictly followed the instructions given clearly at the back of this packet ,"How to cook pasta the right way ?"  and then I added more veges to it like onion ,garlic,Broccoli and then added some spices,sauce and cream to give it the extra zing that can make my pallet dance and finally romance this pasta named Penne (even though I am married & straight)Cheeky Smile.


By the way "Did you know ?"  -
Penne means "pen" in Italian, got its name from its tube shape with angled ends cut to resemble a quill or pen point. Penne have ridges, which allows them to hold more sauce.(Credit:Barilla.com)

So,here it is ,how to make an easy penne pasta recipe .....

Penne Pasta with Broccoli recipe


Barilla's Veggie Penne Pasta - 1 Packet (12 oz)
Broccoli florets- 2 cups
Onion,medium,sliced - 1 no.
Garlic cloves,minced - 2 tablespoons
Dry red chilly flakes - 1-2 teaspoon
Chicken Broth - 1/4 cup(optional)
Marinara sauce - 2 cups
Sour cream - 1/4 cup (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil/butter - 2-3 tablespoons


  1. Cook pasta exactly according to the instruction at the back of the packet.
  2. Heat oil in a wide pan.
  3. Add the onions,garlic and chilly flakes,saute it until onions are transparent ,on medium flame.
  4. Add pasta and chicken broth to it .Boil ,then let it simmer for a minute.
  5. Add broccoli ,salt,pepper and 1 cup of marinara sauce to it,mix well,on low flame.
  6. Finally, add the sour cream and mix everything well.
  7. Just before serving ,add another cup of marinara sauce to it as this pasta recipe does have the tendency to get thicken if kept for long.
  8. Enjoy..a healthy al dente nutritious pasta !!
  • You know right,you can add any vegetable of your choice and chicken,egg,sausages etc as per your taste.  
  • If you are a cheese person,add some shredded cheese to it.

Well,that's how I fell in love with honey P's passion-ate,Penne Pasta.An edible Italian affair is just to be continued................

Live,love,laugh,eat DELICIOUSLY