Friday, October 24, 2014

Paneer Tikka

An eye pleasing starter. Plus the paneer lover's are gonna have a great day with this starter. The recipe is very simple and easy to make.

Ingredients :
Paneer : 15 to 20 paneer pieces cut into square pieces
Curd : 3/4 cup
Ginger Garlic paste : 1 tbsp
Chilli Powder : 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1/8th of a tsp
Coriander Powder : 1 tsp
Amchur Powder : 1 tsp
Chat Masala Powder : 1 tsp
Kala namak/ salt according to taste

Veggies :
Capsicum : Green, red and yellow

Procedure :

1. In a bowl mix curd, ginger garlic paste, all spice powders and salt. Mix well with a help of a whipper.

2. Add the paneer and cut veggies in the curd mixture. Mix well and marinate in refrigerator for 2 hours.

3. Prick the veggies on the bamboo skewer.

4. With a brush apply oil on the pricked bamboo skewers.

5. Broil at 500°F for 15 min.

6. When one side gets charred turn over and broil for 15 more minutes until all the sides are charred slightly.

7. Sprinkle chat powder on the charred paneer tikka.

8.  Serve with mint chutney.

P.S : Be careful with the broil option. If broiled too much the veggies will get burnt.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Avacado Milkshake

I have never had something this yummy and tasty. I have prepared the milkshake with normal and organic milk. It tastes better with organic milk. Plus this is one milkshake without sugar. I have substituted sugar with artificial sweetner.

Ingredients :
Avacado : 1 cut into half (peel and remove the fruit pulp)
Milk (Cold would be better) : 1.5 cup/ Vanilla Ice Cream : 1 scoop
Sweetner / Sugar : according to Taste

Procedure :
1. Blend all the ingredients in a mixer.
2. Serve immediately and enjoy each milky sip ;)

5 Ingredient Pepper Chicken

This is one of the most simplest chicken curry ever. It is also the most tastiest appetizer. It can be served as a starter too.
Ingredients :
Chicken (with Bones): 1/2 kg
Oil : 3 tbsp
Green pepper : 1/2 cup chopped into bits
Coarse black pepper powder : 2 tbsp
Salt according to taste
Curry leaves (Five ingredients are done but this enhances the taste)
1. Wash the chicken properly.
2. In a deep bottomed pan add oil followed by curry leaves and green pepper and fry till the capsicum is cooked.
3. Add the chicken and cook on simmer for 10 min.
4. The chicken releases all the fat; discard the fat and cook again for 20 min.
5. Add coarse pepper powder and salt.
6. Serve as an appetizer or starter. I like this combination with jeera rice too.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Ways to keep ourselves happy

I am always happy in my life as long as I get to live my life my way without any interruptions and without the pressure of society. There are people who try to bring you down if they are unhappy in their lives by interrupting and commenting on your lifestyle. But you have to get above them by ignoring those comments and by moving ahead in life. 

For instance people keep asking me if I am happy being a housewife. "Don't you get bored?"; " Life must be so dull for you"; "What do you do at home the whole time?". My retort in my mind is " Who has time to get bored"; "Why would life be dull and boring when you have day to day activities to pursue"; "I teach, learn, create and etc etc"; "Boring term can be applicable to you too if you hate your job".

I have found ways to move away from the the negativity. Here are a few of the things I do to move away from them.

1. Connect with Nature

I am not at home at all times. I go out for a walk regularly. I love watching the colors spread in the sky during sunset. I love the feel of the breeze on my face. It just instantly revives me. I have witnessed the "Blood red phenomenon" of the moon during lunar eclipse. Connecting with the nature rejuvenates me. 

2. Meet a friend

Trust me nothing cheers you up like meeting a friend. You need not have a huge group of friends to make you happy. That one friend can make you the happiest. You need not spend hours together with that friend. Just an hour and a cup of coffee can do wonders. I call self therapy. Everyone looks happy only on social networking.

3. Music is healing

There is no person in the world who doesn't like music. Music heals everything.  I mainly listen to Bollywood melodies. Be it a peppy number, a romantic number or a sad song. There is song for every emotion you feel. I also enjoy bhajans and carnatic music. I love to learn new songs.

4. Reading

Here is the answer for don't you get bored. This world is filled with 1000's of books. If you don't like a particular book you can stop reading and move onto another book that interests you. The books definitely won't mind. I read 3 to 4 books at the same time. That is how writing is also something I am passionate about.

5. Activities that make you happy

Crochet is my new passion. I love trying and making new crochet patterns. It is a newly found skill that I love. Cooking is one other thing that makes me happy. Trying new recipes and enjoying them is also something that I enjoy a lot.

6. Celebrate life

I am a hopeless romantic. I remember each and every anniversary and birthday or any other special occasion. I celebrate valentine's day, friendship day, father's day, mother's day, the day we first met, engagement anniversary and what not. People say it is a marketing strategy to make money. I say it is a strategy to express your love, spend moments with your loved one's. Plan a surprise for your loved one. Planning needs creativity and thinking.  The happiness on their face is ultimately what I seek which in turn makes me very happy. 

The lyrics of William Pharrel's latest song is what inspired this post :

Because I'm happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I'm happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I'm happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I'm happy
Clap along if you feel like that's what you wanna do

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Dalitoy (Konkani Cuisine)

This is finger licking dish among konkani's. There is no festival incomplete without this dish. And most on most of the day's my lunch is incomplete without this dal.

Ingredients :
Toor dal : 3/4 cup
Green Chilli : 3-4
Salt according to taste

Tempering ingredients :
Mustard Seeds : 3/4 tsp
Asafoetida a pinch
Red Chillies : 3-4
Curry leaves a sprig
Oil/ Ghee : 1 tbsp

Procedure :
1. Wash and soak the toor dal for 20 min.
2. In a pressure cooker add the toor dal and 2 cups of water and chopped green chillies.
3. Cook till there is a whistle of 7-8 whistles so that the dal is mashed properly.
4. In a tempering pan add all the temepering ingredients and add it to the cooked dal once the pressure comes down.
5. Serve with rice.

P.S : For tempering you can use ghee; the taste will be hundred times better.

Bhenda Upkari/ Okra Stir Fry

Lady's Finger are among the very low calorie vegetables. They provide just 30 calories per 100 g, besides containing no saturated fats or cholesterol. Nonetheless, they are rich sources of dietary fiber, minerals, and vitamins; often recommended by nutritionists in cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs.

Ingredients :
Lady's Finger/Okra : 1/2 kg
Oil : 1 tbsp
Mustard Seeds : 1 tsp
Green Chilli/ Chilli Powder : 4-5
Salt according to taste

Procedure :
1. Wash and clean the okra and wipe them clean.
2. Cut of the crown and cut them horizontally into tiny round pieces.
3. Apply salt to the cut pieces and keep them aside.
4. In a pan add oil followed by mustard seeds and once they start crackling add green chillies or chilli powder followed by the cut okra pieces.
5. Cook on a low flame for 20 min.
6. It's easy to identify if okra is cooked as the sliminess of the okra would disappear completely.

Idli Usli/ Idli Upma

What do you with the left over idli's. R.K doesn't like the cold idli's. Either it should be cut into thin slices and roasted on tawa with ghee.... slurp... or idli upma is the other option he choses.

Ingredients :
Idli's : 15
Mustard seeds : 1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves : a sprig
Green Chillies : 2-3
Oil : 1 tbsp
Asafoetida a pinch

Procedure :
1. Crumble the idli's and mix with the required amount of salt.
2. In a deep pan add oil, mustard seeds.
3. Once the seeds start spluttering add curry leaves, chopped green chilli and adafoetida.
4. Add the salt applied crumbled idli's and cook on a low flame for 5 min.

Peanut Sundal

During navrathri this year as naivedyam I used to prepare one sweet and one Sundal. This is one of the post from Navrathri.

Ingredients :
Raw Peanuts : 1.5 cup
Mustard seeds : 1 tsp
Curry leaves : a sprig
Red Chillies : 5-6
Asafoetida a pinch
Grated coconut : 1/4 cup
Salt according to taste

Procedure :
1. Soak the raw peanuts for 1.5 - 2 hours.
2. In a pan heat oil add mustard seeds, curry leaves, red chillies and the soaked raw peanuts.
3. Add 3/4 cup of water and close the pan and allow the peanuts to be cooked.
4. When a little water is still left add salt and grated coconut.
5. Cook till the water is completely evaporated. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Moong Dal with Dill Leaves

Dill leaves give a strong flavor to any curry. Try this combination with Ghee rice or Jeera rice and it tastes like heaven.

Moong Daal – 1 cup  (Wash and Soak for 15 min)
Dill Leaves – 15-20 stems (Cut the hard stems and chop the leaves)
Oil – 1 tbsp
Cumin Seeds – 1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder– 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida/Hing –  a pinch
Curry Leaves – 1 sprig
Garlic – 1 tbsp, chopped
Green Chillies – to taste, chopped
Salt – to taste
Water – 4 cups
1. In a pressure cooker add oil and cumin seeds and once the seeds start spluttering add Asafoetida, turmeric powder, curry leaves, chopped garlic, green chillies and cook till the garlic turns slightly brown in color. 
2. Add the drained Moong dal along with chopped dill leaves and salt and mix.
3. Put the cover of the pressure cooker and cook for 2 whistles and not more than that as it will become very squishy.
4. Open the pressure cooker once the pressure comes down and cook for 2 min and for a tangy flavor add 1 tsp of lemon juice.

Methi Paneer Pulao

Methi was one thing that I never liked as a kid because it gives a bitter taste. I still don't like the vegetable a lot but once I tried this recipe I wanted to eat methi in bunch. It was finger licking good actually. This is again a satvik bhojan with no onion and garlic.

Fenugreek/Methi leaves– 1 bunch (1 cup exactly with only the leaves, discard the stems)
Basmathi Rice- 2 cups
Paneer/ Cottage Cheese- 15 cubes of paneer (You can shallow or deep fry or use them directly, I used it as plain one's as it gives a creamy taste to the rice)
Oil – 2 tbsp
Cumin Seeds – 1/2 tsp
Tomato – 1 cut vertically
Turmeric Powder (Haldi) – 1/2 tsp
Green Chillies – to taste, finely chopped
Red Chili Powder – to taste
Coriander Powder (Dhaniya) – 1 tbsp
Salt – to taste
Water – 4 cups
1. Sprinkle Salt on the leaves, mix and keep aside for 15-20 minutes.
2. Wash the Rice well and soak in some Water and keep aside for 20 minutes.
3.  In a pan (that has a tight fitting lid) heat Oil on medium heat.
4. Once the Oil is hot, add in the Cumin Seeds and once they start spluttering add green chillies, tomato and turmeric powder.

5. Squeeze out the water from the Fenugreek Leaves and put them in the pan followed by coriander powder and chilli powder and cook for 3-4 mins.

6. Drain the water from the Rice and add the Rice to the Methi Leaves and cook (Rice : water ratio should be 1:1.5)

7. Check the salt and add if required; cook on a medium flame. 
8. Serve with Raitha.

Stuffed Ivy Gourd/ Bharwen Tendli

Ivy Gourd is one of my favorite vegetables. I often try and experiment with it. No matter what the combination it turns out yummy every time. This recipe has a mixture of all the spices. Plus when you take a bite out of this the juice of ivy gourd just oozes out.


Ivy Gourd : 20
Chilli Powder 1.5 tsp
Coriander Powder : 1.5 tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1/4 tsp
Amchur Powder/ Dried Mango Powder : 1 tsp
Garam Masala : 1 tsp
Cumin seeds : 1/2 tsp
Oil: 2 tbsp
Salt according to taste


1. Clean and wipe the ivy gourds and cut off a small portion of the top and bottom edges of Ivy Gourd.
2. Slit vertically into 4 pieces starting from the top and keeping a small portion uncut at the bottom.
3. Mix all the spice powders and salt and fill the slit of the ivy gourd with these powders.
4. In a non-stick kadai add oil and cumin and once the seeds start spluttering add the filled ivy gourd's.
5. If there is left over spice powder sprinkle on top of them and salt if necessary.
6. Cook on a low flame for 20-25 min.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Pea and Dill Leaves Pulao

Dill leaves are a good source of anti-oxidants and is also a source of vitamin A. They bring a different flavor to our food. Also check my other recipe using dill leaves - Potato and Dill Leaves Stir fry. During Navrathri I used to cook without onion and garlic. So this recipe came handy. 


Basmati Rice :1.5 cups
Dill leaves :a bunch i.e say 20 stems (Can add more if you like the flavor of dill leaves)
Tomato : 1
Fresh or frozen green Peas : 1/2 cup
Chili powder :1 tsp
Coriander powder: 1 tsp
Water: 3 cups

Tempering Ingredients :
Cooking oil: 5 tbsp
Cumin seeds: 1tsp
Cloves : 3
Cardamom :3
Bay leaves :2
Cinnamon:1/2 inch piece


  1. Wash and soak rice for 20 minutes.
  2. Discard the hard steams and wash the dill leaves.
  3. Heat oil in non-stick kadai (which can be closed using a tight lid); add all the ingredients under tempering and once the fragrance of the spices hits your nose add chopped tomatoes and cook till soft.
  4. Add dill leaves followed by the spices.
  5. Add the Green Peas followed by water, salt and rice.
  6. Cover and cook on a medium flame till the rice is perfectly cooked. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Urad & Rava Dosa

Dosa... The very name brings water in my mouth.  Being from south India dosa was a daily affair for us. And it still is. But the variations in dosa is the only difference. This dosa is not made of rice.  Dosa is crispy and soft.

Urad dal : 1 cup
Rava/ sooji : 1 cup
Water to add bring into dosa consistency
Green Chilli : 5 to 6
Ginger : 1 inch
Salt according to taste

Procedure :
1. Soak urad dal in water for 5 to 6 hours.
2. Grind it to a smooth paste and add salt and ferment it overnight.
3. Add the rava/ sooji and water and mix well and bring it to dosa consistency.
4. Add grated ginger and green chilli.
5. With a ladle spread on the tawa and add 1 drop of oil and roast well.
6. Once it is well roasted (it will turn brown) flip and cook and the other side as well.
7. Serve with coconut chutney.