Friday, June 24, 2016

Shenvo ~ Spicy sev

Shenvo is our favorite side to go with Poha or Upma. I was not very happy with the Sev that we got here at Indian stores. They do taste good but it lacks the flavor that I grew up on. The Sev that is made at Mangalore has a wonderful aroma of Hing and Ajwain. I missed those here so much that I decided to try making at home. They are so easy to make that, once I made them at home we got hooked. Now we don't fancy the store brought ones. The advantage of making it at home are many price, quality of ingredients and portion control. It does not take much time to make these yummy Sev.

Here is what's needed:
2 cups Besan/Chickpea flour
1/2 cup rice flour (optional)
1 tsp red Chili powder
Salt to taste (I used almost 1 tsp)
Generous splash of hing powder
2 tsp Ajwain
Water as required
Oil to deep fry

1) Dry roast the Ajwain till fragrant. Cool down and crush with a mortar and pestle. Sieve it.
2) In a bowl whisk Besan, Rice flour, red Chili powder, salt, Ajwain powder, Hing powder. Add 2 tbsp of hot oil and mix. Add water little by little until it forms a sticky dough. Check the salt and spice and add more if required.
3) Heat oil. Grease the Sev mold and add the dough into the cylinder. Tighten. Press and make circles of Sev directly into the hot oil. When it stops sizzling turn over if needed. Keep an eye on it and make sure that does not burn.

4) Drain on tissue and let it cool.  Once cooled crush it lightly and store in an air tight container.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Gobi Urval ~ Spicy and tangy Cauliflower

Urval is a spicy and tangy preparation usually made with chicken. My husband raves about a restaurant in Mangalore that serves amazing Chicken Urval. Ever since then I wanted to try it but being vegetarian never got a chance. So I googled it and also got the recipe from my friend. I made a lot of modifications in the recipes, like not deep frying the florets and also adding a little of spice. This is one of our favourite and also among my friends. The seasoning that goes in to this dish elevates its taste. This tastes amazing as starters or as a side dish with dal and rice. The cauliflower in the recipe can be easily replaced with chicken or mushrooms.

Here is what's needed:
To marinate
2 cups cauliflower florets - bite sized and cleaned
1 tsp fresh ginger and garlic paste
1 /4 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste

To Roast
1 tsp Coriander seeds
1 tsp Cumin seeds
2 green Cardamom
2 cloves
10 peppercorns
5-6 Kashmiri Chilies

5 cloves garlic
2" ginger
2 Onions sliced
2 tomatoes
2 tsp tomato ketchup
15 Cashew cut into pieces
10 curry leaves torn into two
Salt to taste

1) Dry roast the ingredients under "To Roast" until fragrant and lightly browned. Let it cool.  Grind it to smooth paste with little water. Keep aside.
2) Marinate the cauliflower with ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder, salt and a tsp of the ground spice paste. Puree the tomatoes.
3) Heat oil in a pan, add the cashews and curry leaves. Fry until cashews turn golden and leaves crisp. Keep it aside. In the same pan add more oil if required and add the sliced onions. Saute until pink.
4) Add the ground paste followed by the tomato puree. Cook it until the raw smell goes away and it smells fragrant. Add the marinated cauliflower florets and ketchup to taste. Do not add any water and let it cook in the water that cauliflower releases.Add salt to taste.Make sure you don't add too much salt as the marinated florets already have some salt in it. Cook until the florets are cooked but still have a slight crunch in them. Over cooking them makes it mushy. Pour the roasted cashews and curry leaves seasoning and serve.

The same recipe can be made Mushrooms  or Chicken. My friend made this with Chicken and loved it. If using Chicken make sure that you add a little curd while marinating and also add a tsp or  two of red chilli powder depending on the spice level.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Saffron Butter Cake ~ Tried & Tasted

     Wishing you all a very Happy and Prosperous New year.

Have you ever been haunted with a picture of some food? It happened to me when I saw the picture of this beautiful yellow cake on one of the groups in Facebook. It had my favorite spice ~ "Saffron". The cake looked simple with intriguing flavors that made me want to try it at the first given opportunity.
 Even though I have a sweet tooth I am not big fan of cakes. The only cakes that I like is simple homemade cake with no frosting! This fit the bill perfectly. The cake is not too sweet..  but soft, buttery and smells heavenly. I have followed the recipe on the "Framed Recipes" blog. Thank you Sreelatha for this wonderful recipe. I would increase the sugar level slightly next time if I am making this as dessert (but that's because I like my desserts a little sweet). If making it with tea or coffee its perfect. My pictures don't do justice to this beautiful cake so please head over to her wonderful blog which has drool-worthy pics.

Here is what's needed:
2 sticks Unsalted butter (I used lightly salted and skipped adding salt) at room temperature
1.5 cups All Purpose flour
1 cup Sugar (Add 1/3 - 1/4 cup sugar extra if you like it sweeter)
4 tbsp fresh milk
4 Eggs
1 tsp Baking powder
1 tsp Vanilla Essence
1/2 tsp salt
2 generous pinches of Saffron
generous pinch of fine cardamom powder (Optional)


1) Warm the milk and add the Saffron. Let them soak in the milk for few minutes so that the flavors get infused. Keep it aside for at least 20 mins.
2) Pre-heat oven at 375 deg F. Grease and line a 9 inch round cake pan.
3) In a bowl mix the dry ingredients - All purpose flour, salt, baking powder. You could sieve it. I usually use a whisk.
4) Cream butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add one egg at a  time and beat until incorporated on low speed. When all the eggs are added the mixture looks curdled. I am glad that this was mentioned in the original recipe as I got tensed seeing the curdled mixture. The flour mixture will take care of this.
5) Add the vanilla essence and saffron infused milk. I also added a generous pinch of cardamom powder as I love its pairing with Saffron
6) Add the flour mixture in parts while beating it on low. Pour the batter in the prepared tin and bake in the pre-heated oven for 40 -45 mins until tooth pick inserted comes clean. Do cover the cake with aluminum foil shiny side down if it browns too fast.
7) Once out of the oven let the cake rest in tin for 5 mins and then invert it on a wired rack to cool completely. Slice.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Davangere Benne dose ~ Butter Dosa

I am back to blogging after a long break of almost a year. In between a lot of changes happened and now we are well settled in a new place and loving it.This is an old draft that I am posting.

Our breakfast usually has some dosa most of the time and sometimes the variety of upma or poha. My little boy loves most of the dosas and will happily eat breakfast if dosa is on the menu. He cannot eat very early in the morning during school days with an exception if it is dosa. To make sure he gets his breakfast quota with a glass of milk I make dosas most of the time. Hence I am in constant search for new dosa recipes. One day my hubby causally suggested that I should look for Davangere Benne dose which was his favourite during his college days. The internet world opened up a lot of recipes and I picked one among them. I wish I had saved the link to credit the source. I tried looking up for this recipe again but did not get it. This is an old draft that I am posting hence I have lost the source.Sorry!! This Dosa tasted really good so I had saved it on my phone. Glad that I could get this and share it here. I am not sure if this is authentic recipe for benne dose but we loved it.

Here is What's needed:

2 cups Idli rice/Dosa rice
1/2 cup Urad dal
1/4 tsp methi seeds
1 cup thick Poha
Salt and Sugar to taste
2 tbsp Maida/All purpose flour
Baking Soda a pinch


1) Soak rice, urad dal and methi seeds for 4 hours.
2) Soak thick poha seperately for 15 mins.
3) Grind the batter with soaked dal and poha together to smooth batter.
4) Let the batter ferment in a warm place overnight.
5) Next day morning mix 2 tbsp Maida/All Purpose flour and baking soda with little water to smooth paste and mix it into the fermented batter. Add salt and sugar to taste. Leave for 10 mins and then make thick dosa on hot griddle. Roast one both the sides until golden brown. Add a dollop of butter and Serve hot with Potato curry and spicy chutney.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Diwali 2014 ~ Kaju Katli

This post is a tad bit late but hoping that all the readers had a very Happy Diwali. This Diwali was indeed special as my parents are here with us. After long time I and mom caught up on long afternoon chats. We end up churning a lot of delicacies together, not that any one is complaining. This Diwali,we made a lot of delicacies. We made Phenori(Chirote), Rava Laddoo, Kodbale (South Indian rice flour snack), Spicy tukdi(Spicy namak pare) and Kaju Katli.

Kaju Katli is one of our family favourite. I got inspired by a group on FB called Epicurean Delights and decided to give this sweet a try. I noted a lot of recipes and googled few recipes and finally decided on a step by step recipe from Rak's Kitchen. The result was perfect and loved by everyone in family. Thank you Rak's Anand for this wonderful recipe. I am noting it here for my future reference. Please click this link for a step by step recipe.
Here is what's needed:
1 cup Cashew nut (at room temperature)
1/2 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Water
1 tbsp Milk
Ghee for greasing
1) Powder cashewnuts in a mixer grinder until fine. I did it in two parts to avoid over crowding.
2) In a non stick pan, heat water and add sugar to it. Let the sugar dissolve completely and when it forms almost a single thread consistency add in the cashew powder. Turn the heat to low and keep stirring continuously. When  the mixture starts to get dry and starts to leave the sides or if a small piece is taken and rolled between your palms it should form a small smooth ball. Take it out on a clean counter or wide plate.
3) When the dough is still warm start kneading.Apply little ghee to make the kneading easy. Knead gently so that the grainy texture turns to smooth. If you feel the mixture is very dry add milk and knead gently to avoid cashew releasing oils. When it is smooth enough with the help of rolling pin roll it out into desired thickness and when slightly cool cut in to diamond shapes shapes.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Batate Vaagu 2 ~ Spicy Potato Curry(Without Onion and garlic)

This is a spicy Konkani curry that features in our menu on auspicious days when we don't eat Onion and garlic. It is very easy to prepare with minimum ingredients and yet full of flavour. It has mild sweetness from freshly grated coconut and heat from red chilli powder.
I have already blogged about this curry here. Over time I have modified this recipe and this one is our current favourite with extra tang from tomatoes and a hint of coriander.

Serves: 4
Time to cook: 30-45 mins

Here is what's needed:
3 large Idaho Potatoes
4 medium Roma Tomatoes (finely chopped)
1/4 cup grated coconut (fresh or frozen) at room temperature
1/2 tsp coriander powder
2 -3 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder(Kashmiri chilli powder gives a lovely colour with less heat. Increase or decrease the chilli powder according to your taste)
1/4 to 1/2 tsp Asafoetida(hing)
Salt to taste
2tbsp Oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
3/4 tsp urad dal
1 sprig curry leaf torn in to bits
Finely chopped coriander leaves to garnish

1) Pressure cook Potatoes for 3 whistles. Let it cool. Peel and chop into bite sized pieces.
2) Heat Oil in a pan. Add in mustard seeds and let them crackle. Add Urad dal and saute until it turns golden brown. Add curry leaf.
3)Throw in the chopped tomatoes and let it cook until mushy. Add the hing powder, coriander powder and red chilli powder. Let it cook for two to three mins. Add in the potatoes. Add salt to taste and mix well until the potatoes are nicely covered with the masala.
4) Turn the flame to medium and add 1/2 cup water. Cover and let it cook. Keep mixing in between to make sure that the curry does not stick to the bottom. When the water evaporates add the grated coconut and saute the curry well for 5 mins. Add in the coriander leaves and give it a quick stir.
Serve hot with Rice and Dal or with phulkas. I have served this with some Rice noodles. (Recipe coming up soon)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Kadai Mushroom

Mushrooms are a family favourite. Every trip to grocery store is in complete without buying lovely mushrooms. Back in India we used to use the thunder mushrooms that grow only during the monsoon season. Here I used the white cultivated mushroom that is easily available. I usually make traditional konkani style spicy mushroom song or bhutti or North Indian style subzi out of it. Some times I add it in Biryani's or pulaos too. I love to replace paneer with mushrooms in many of the paneer based dishes as I am not very fond of paneer pieces in my gravy. I like grated paneer curries or if making palak paneer or matar Paneer I like small pieces of paneer.
In the process of cutting down fat I regularly replace the paneer out of Kadai Paneer with mushroom. I usually make this dish dry but this time I made it a little with gravy so that Little A can eat his Phulka dabbed with home made ghee in it. He prefers gravy based dishes more than dry sabzi's.
Long back when Nupur announced "spice and something nice" event I had participated and got fragrant homemade kadai masala with other goodies from a very lovely girl Divya. This masala was so fragrant that every time I used it my curries I got rave reviews. The recipe that Divya shared with me is sightly different. Will share it here next time. Here is how I made a quick version of it.

2 cups cleaned and chopped Mushrooms
1 green pepper Chopped to bite sized cubes(Coloured ones taste yummy too)
2 medium Onions chopped
2 tomatoes
1 tsp fresh ginger garlic paste
1tsp Tomato ketchup
2 tsp Kadai masala or (dry roast 2tsp coriander seeds, 2-3 red chillies and powder coarsely. Use this fresh powder and little bit of garam masala to taste)
1/4 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Chilli powder
3 tbsp Oil
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
a generous pinch of kasuri methi
salt to taste
chopped coriander leaves to garnish

1) Blanch tomatoes in hot water and puree them.
2) Heat a tbsp of oil in a pan and saute green peppers until crunchy but done. Keep aside.
3) Heat the remaining oil in the same pan and add cumin seeds with bay leaf in to it. When cumin seeds start spluttering and change their colour add the chopped onions and ginger garlic paste. Fry well until done.
4) Add the tomato puree and cook further for 3-4 mins. Add in the masala powders and tomato ketchup and saute for 2 mins or until oil seperates.
5) Throw in the chopped mushrooms and cook uncovered on a medium to high flame until done. First the mushroom starts leaving water and when you continue to cook the water evaporates. Add salt and sugar to taste.
6) Finally add the sauteed peppers, Kasuri methi and cook for a minute or two and garnish with chopped coriander leaves and switch off
Serve with hot Phulka's or with mild pulao's.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Happy New Year and Hershey's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Wish you all a very very Happy and Prosperous New Year.

Hope everyone had a good start for the year 2014. We welcomed the New year in company of  very good friends and great food. I am really thankful for the wonderful year that passed by with lots and lots of good memories. My in-laws visited us and stayed with us for 4 months. The days when they were here passed in a jiffy with lots of travelling, visiting relatives ,friends and lots of fun. The little boy started his first school, the heart break of seeing him cry and hug me so that he does not have to go to school, our first beach visit in US, making sand castles and mud pies... Overall a wonderful year. Hope the year 2014 too brings in lot of happiness, prosperity and peace.

2013 saw me baking a lot. I utilized the huge oven to its fullest by baking for most of the occasions. I signed up for my son's class parties so that I could get a chance to try out different recipes that I had bookmarked. I love baking and the aroma that fills the entire house.  The house reminds me of the bakeries that I used to visit regularly during childhood.
I made this Chocolate chip cookie for my son's Christmas party and it was well received. This recipe was printed on the cover of Hershey's Chocolate Chips. I made a trail version before the actual party and my friends loved it. I followed the same recipe again and it was a hit - With crisp edges and soft and chewy center. I used milk chocolate as kids love the cookie sweet. Feel free to substitute with semi sweet chocolate chips or throw in few nuts and it will be a hit.

Here is what's needed:
1 cup or 2 sticks butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup Light brown sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Eggs
2-1/4 cups All purpose flour
1 tsp Baking soda
1/2 tsp Salt
2 cups Milk Chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

1) Heat oven to 375 deg F.
2) Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in a large bowl until creamy. Add eggs, beat well.
3) Stir together flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually add to butter mixture, beating well until blended. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts in using.
4) Drop using an ice cream scoop or teaspoon onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 8-10 mins until lightly browned. cool slightly and transfer onto a cooling rack.

Tastes delicious when warm and served with cold milk. Enjoy

Monday, December 30, 2013

Instant Indian Plum cake ~ Tried and tested

Oh boy I am late I am late!!! I feel like the bunny from Alice in the wonderland.. Late in posting this recipe which should have been ideally posted around Christmas.. But I was so busy baking, eating and sharing(Yes!!in that very order) that I did not have time to sit down and post! This has to be the most easiest and yummiest plum cake that I have ever come across. Except for making the caramel this cake is easy breezy. Making caramel is tricky but not tough.

My fondest memories of Christmas is associated with plum cakes and Kuswar. Our neighbours back in Mangalore (both at my in-laws house as well as mums) are friendly Christians. We share sweets during major festivals. Come Christmas we are loaded with plum cakes and we don't complain as everyone in the family loves them. After coming to US I missed plum cakes the most. I searched the blogs and bookmarked a lot of recipes from blogs. Then began the search for tutti frutti. I did not want to leave these behind as they are the most important and my favourite part of the plum cakes. Wal-mart had tutti frutti with nuts in a jar with some liquid in it but was not sure of it so did not buy them. Finally got them at an Indian store that was miles away from our place. I wanted to soak the fruits but was not comfortable making boozy cake. I decided to make them in orange juice as i had seen in a lot of blogs.
In between all this I got to taste a wonderful piece of plum cake from one of the parents from my son's class and I got hooked. I shamelessly ate a big slice of cake and asked her for the recipe. She mailed the link to me and I was happy to see that it was the same recipe that I had bookmarked long back! After tasting the cake I was 100% sure that the taste would be great and made up my mind to bake the cake for Christmas.

This recipe is a from a wonderful blogger, Nag's. She has an awesome blog with many recipes that are easy to follow with step by step instructions. I have referred this recipe from her blog and made few changes.

Here is what's needed:
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup chopped cashewnuts and walnuts
1/4 cup chopped big green raisins (I am not fond of black ones so replaced it with green)
3/4 cup mixed dry fruits (chopped dates, chopped cherries,tutti frutti. I did not use orange peels as I am not very fond of it. Instead used the zest of orange which gave a wonderful aroma to the cake)
1 + .5 cups white sugar
2/3 cup butter, at room temperature
3 eggs
1 huge pinch of all spice powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp grated orange zest
A pinch of salt

1. Caramelizing sugar: Keep cool and In a pan on medium heat, melt 1/2 cup sugar slowly. It will first melt and then turn into a dark brown thick syrup. Keep stirring and let it turn a deep dark caramel colour. Don't let it burn. Turn off heat and add about 1/4 cup water. The sugar will harden. Turn the heat back on and slowly heat the mixture until the sugar crystals dissolve. This will take around 10 mins. Let this cool and set aside. If you doubt that your sugar is burnt then make a fresh batch of it. I burnt once and was so worried that I was extra careful next time. The trick is to watch carefully.

Pre-heat oven to 350F / 180C.

 2.Mix the dry fruits and nuts with orange zest and add 3 tbsp of flour to it. Mix well so that they are evenly coated with the flour. This is done to prevent the fruits from sinking to the bottom of the pan while baking. Set aside.

3. Mix the remaining flour and baking powder, spices, and salt until well combined.

4. Beat the butter and 1 cup sugar until fluffy, 3-4 mins with an electric beater. Add vanilla and mix until combined. Next, add 1 egg and beat. Then add a bit of the flour mixture and fold. Likewise, alternate between the eggs and flour mixture until they are used up.

5. Add the cooled caramel and dredged fruits and gently fold in. Pour batter into a greased cake pan and smooth the top.

6. Bake for 50-55 mins until the top turns a dark brown and when a skewer inserted into the cake comes out with dry crumbs.

7. Cool completely before slicing the cake.

I made a first batch of this cake to share with my friends and it got over within few minutes. The same night I made a second batch as I was expecting few friends over for dinner. The recipe is so simple and easy and the result is a perfectly baked cake. Thank you so much Nag's for sharing this wonderful recipe. I never imagined that I would be baking Plum cake at home

1)Here is a link that explains how to zest an orange pretty simple..
2) Instead of All spice powder: 1 clove + 1 cardamom pod + small piece of cinnamon + a pinch nutmeg (pound together to powder) can be used as per the original recipe. I just had access to this spice powder which worked well in the recipe.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Palak Paneer #2 ~ Tried and tasted!

Cooking would have been a boring task if not for the blogging world. I love cooking but do get bored If  I were to make similar dishes every other day. I love change when it comes to food and love to experiment with different recipes for a particular veggie or a particular dish. Thankfully, my family too loves to experiment with food. The little fellow is slowly picking up and I hope he too will learn to love and appreciate food as we both do.
Palak Paneer is an absolute favorite of mine. I have already blogged about it here. Even though I love that recipe, I kept looking for different ways to make it.When I saw the Palak Paneer recipe at Sia's Monsoon spice I was hooked! I knew I had to make it. I have always loved reading her blog and drooling at the amazing shots. Her posts take me back to my native Mangalore and churn up a lot of hidden memories.  Thanks Sia. Even before I could finish the dish I was sure it was going to be a hit. The aroma and the flavours were simply amazing! I have followed her recipe with minor changes. I am blogging it here for my future reference.

Here is what's needed:
3 cups baby spinach
1/2 cup Paneer cubed (I prefer to cut them into small cubes and avoid frying it. You may shallow fry or deep fry)
2 green chillies minced
1 Onion chopped fine
1 Tomato chopped fine
3 garlic cloved minced
1" ginger minced
2 tbsp fresh cream (As suggested by Sia may be substituted with 1/4 cup whole milk)
1/2 tsp Sugar
1 tbsp lime juice
salt to taste
1 tbsp oil

1" cinnamon
2 cloves
2 green cardamoms
1/4 tsp Jeera
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
1/2 tsp Kitchen king masala
1 tsp Kasuri methi
a pinch of hing

1) Blanch the cleaned spinach in hot water for a minute and run it through cold water or immerse it in a bowl of ice cold water to prevent further cooking. Puree in a blender to coarse paste.
2) Heat oil. Add cumin seeds and when they crackle add the whole spices. Fry and then add hing. Add the chopped onions. Fry until golden followed by ginger, garlic and green chilies. Fry.
3) Add the spice powders and fry for a min. As suggested by Sia, I sprinkled a little water to prevent the spice powders from burning.
4) Add in the tomato and fry until soft and mushy. Add the spinach puree, salt and sugar. Add the cream and little water to adjust the consistency of the gravy. Cook until well incorporated.
5) Add Paneer and give it a soft boil. Switch off. Drizzle the lime juice and serve hot.

I served it with kerala parotta. It can be served with soft warm phulka's, roti , Nan's and stuffed paratha's too.