Thursday, July 29, 2010

Soya Balls

This is my aunt’s recipe and can be made very quickly. We love this at home and make it at least once a week. Hot soya balls with tomato ketchup is a treat during the winter season. One weekend we so tired at home that after an early breakfast on Saturday, we dozed off to wake up only at 4 pm. We were so hungry and thought we will have curd rice, but decided we need something crunchy with that, and you won’t believe soya balls was ready in 20 minutes. Just try it and you will love them.
Ingredients :
Soya Chunks - 1/2 pack
Green chilies - 2
Ginger - 1 finger size
Fried gram dhal(Chutney Kadalai) - 2 tbsp
Fennel seeds(Sombu) - 2 tsp
Jeera - 2 tsp
Corriander powder - 1 tbsp
Corriander Leaves – a small bunch
Curry Leaves - 2 strands
Cloves - 2
Cinnamon - 1 piece
Salt - according to taste

Method :
Add the soya chunks to a vessel and add water and a pinch of salt and bring to boil. Allow the soya chunks to cook for 5 to 7 minutes. After that drain the water and wash the soya chunks with cold water twice. Next squeeze the water out of the soya chunks completely. Do this by taking 3 or 4 at a time and press with your hands so that all the water is out. Add the remaining ingredients to a mixer and mash it to a coarse paste without adding water. Once all the items are coarsely ground, add the soya chunks and grind it to a smooth paste. Again please make sure you don’t add water. Next remove the paste from the mixer and make balls and deep fry them. Serve the soya balls with no onion no Garlic Tomato Ketchup. For people who are health conscious, instead of making balls we can make cutlet shaped patties and shallow fry in a tawa.

Moong Dhal Payasam

This a delicious dessert that I love so much. But never had a chance to make it by myself. So yesterday we had guests at home and we planned to make my favourite moong dhal payasam. You won’t believe on debut it came out very well. Actually this payasam can be made very quickly. So on the days when you have guests coming with short notice then make sure you include this in your dessert menu.

Ingredients :
Green gram dhal (Moong Dhal) - 1 cup
Water – 1 1/2 cup

Jaggery (powered) - 1- 1 1/2 cups
Cardamoms - 4-5
Milk - 1 cup
Coconut milk – ¾ cup
A few cashew nuts
A few raisons
Small piece coconut, cut into tiny thin pieces
Ghee - 1 tbsp

Method :

Roast dhal to a light brown colour. Remove, cool and wash.Add water and boil. When dhal has cooked, mash thoroughly.Add jaggery in a vessel and with the water, continue to cook till the jaggery has dissolved and becomes a little thick. Now add the cooked dhal and mix well and allow it to cook for 5 minutes.Add milk, boil further for 3-5 minutes. After that add the coconut milk and keep it for a minute and remove from fire.Heat ghee, fry cashew nut pieces, coconut pieces and raisons, each separately. Add cardamom powder, mix all of it into the payasam. Hot payasam is ready to serve.For people who like it cold, refrigerate and serve.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Potato Stew

This is a Kerala based dish mainly because the main ingredient here is the coconut milk. Very simple and easy to cook. This dish can be made real quick if the coconut milk is ready. Do not use the ready to use coconut milk available in the market. This dish will turn out good only if we make the coconut milk fresh at home. This is a best combination with hot idlies.

Potatoes – 2
Coconut – 1 (medium size)
Ginger – 1 finger size
Green chillies – 6 (You can add more based on your need)
Salt - According to taste
Gram flour (kadalai mavau) - 2 tsp

First we need to make the coconut milk. For that break and cut the full coconut into small pieces and put it in the mixer and grind it first without adding water till all the coconut becomes as though it was grated, then add 2 cups of water and grind it completely till you feel all the juice from the coconut is out. Next drain the liquid alone using a strainer. This is the first milk and it will be thick. Again with the coconut that is drained add 2 cups of water and follow the similar procedure to take the second milk. Once this is done mince the ginger, slit the green chillies into two halves vertically, boil the potatoes fully and break them into small pieces with your hand after peeling the skin. Next add the potato pieces, ginger, green chillies and the second milk into a pan and allow it to boil till the water in the second milk separates and the green chillies and ginger are cooked and have become tender. This takes about 15 minutes. Next after that add the first milk, salt and mix the gram flour in little water and add it to the stew. After adding the first milk do not allow it to boil for more than 5 minutes. At this stage the stew will be a thick white gravy. The potato stew is now ready. This can be served with hot idlis, dosas or appam. We can minus the gram flour and use it for ekadhesi.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Baked Vegetable Rice

The other day I made vegetable Rice, because had a lot of vegetables in the fridge. This is one of my favorite dishes and it is probably the easiest and quickest to make.This recipe results in a mild Vegetable Rice which hopefully will appeal to everyone regardless of their spice tolerance.The vegetable rice was light, colourful and loaded with all the good stuff. I served the Vegetable rice with some Cucumber raita and it was very fulfilling.

Basmati Rice - 1 cup
Butter- 1tbs
Vegetables (broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, celery, peppers)-1 cup
Cloves -3
Cinnamon - 1 inch stick
Bay leaf - 1
Fresh Ginger - 1/2 tsp (grated)
Fresh Mint - One fistful (finely chopped)
Fresh Coriander - One fistful (finely chopped)
Green chili - 2
Tomatoes - 2 ( finely chopped)
Coconut milk - 1 cup
yogurt - 5 tbs
Salt to taste

First, chop the vegetables, such as carrots, broccoli, peppers, tomatoes,Celery. After that, slit the green chilli , Grate the ginger.When you have done that, wash the basmati rice and soak it for 15 minutes.Melt the butter in a deep saucepan. After melting, add cinnamon sticks,Bay leaf and cloves. Fry the mixture for a few seconds. Add fresh coriander and mint leaves and stir. Then add the chili and ginger.Add in the tomatoes and stir until the tomatoes are soft.Next, add the vegetables and cook for a few minutes.After that add coconut milk, yoghurt, stock and some salt and stir. Use a colander to filter the water from the rice.Transfer the rice to the vegetables and mix everything slowly for a few minutes, making sure not to break the rice. Preheat the oven 350 degree.Bake this in the oven until the rice is cooked (30 -40 minutes).

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Corn Capsicum Masala

This goes well with chapati and even plain basmati rice. I actually tasted this dish at our favourite restaurant in Chennai “ Copper Chimney”. Then after getting back home I googled to find a lot of corn and capsicum masala recipes but, with onion and garlic :-(.I,then did my own additions and deletions and landed up on an awesome corn capsicum masala. And these days we don’t have corn capsicum masala at Copper Chimney, because we make it at home. Jai

Capsicum - 2 large ones
Corn – 2 cups
Oil – 1 tbs
Ghee – I tbs
Tomatoes - 6 large ones
Green chilies – 2
Ginger – 1 finger length
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Red chili powder – ½ tsp
Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 2 tsp
Garam masala – ½ tsp
Bay Leaf – 1
Fresh Cream – 3 tbs
Coconut milk – 2 tbs
Salt as per taste
Sugar – 1/2 teaspoon(Optional)
Coriander leaves – a small bunch

First wash the tomatoes and boil them with water till their skin starts coming out.After that drain the water and cool it. Next peel the skin and add them to a mixer.Add the green chilies,ginger and grind them to a fine paste. In a pan add the ghee and heat. Add the Bay leaf. Next add the ground paste, turmeric powder, red chili powder, cumin powder, and coriander powder and mix well.After cooking for a 5 minutes. Next add the coconut milk and also water based on your need. I usually add 1 to 1 1/2 cup. Stir at regular intervals and make sure the gravy doesn’t stick to the bottom. This will take 10 to 12 minutes. In the meantime heat oil in pan and add the chopped capsicum and corn. Roast the vegetables till they become crisp and slightly brown here and there. Now, to the gravy add the garam masala, salt and sugar(optional). Mix well. Allow it to cook for 2 minutes.Now add the vegetables and then after another two minutes reduce the flame and add the cream. Mix well again and allow to cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves and yummy Corn Capsicum masala is ready to serve.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Oats upma

Upma is a quick and delicious comfort food that it is prepared in every household at least once a week.When upma is being prepared at home, the aroma from the vegetables makes one’s appetite for breakfast, lunch or dinner even stronger. It’s a no fuss dish and needs a very few ingredients and is sure a crowd pleaser. Here is the recipe for Oats Upma. Oats contain more soluble fibre than any other grain.


Oats - 1 cup ( rolled oats)
Grated ginger - 1/2 tsp
Green chillies - 2 ( slit length wise)
Mixed veggies - 3/4 cup ( i used frozen mixed veggies)
salt - to taste
cilantro - 1tbs finely chopped
water - 2 cup
Lemon Juice - 2 drops
Curry leaves - one string
Cashews - 10 ( optional)


In a pan,dry roast the oats in medium flame for 2 min. Heat oil in a wok and add the ginger,green chillies,curry leaves, cashews and saute. Now add the veggies and salt. Mix well. Add 2 cups of water. When the water comes to boil , add the roasted oats.Allow it to cook till the water absorbs.Turn off the gas then add lemon juice and finely chopped cilantro.

Note : Oatmeal, which is one of the most nutritious cereals, is generally tolerated by almost everyone that has some form of cereal allergy. Oatmeal does not go through any form of refined processing, which makes it an integral food because it does not lose any of its nutritional value.

Macaroni-Pineapple Salad with Thousand Island Dressing

This is very healthy and very easy to prepare salad.Always serve the dressing separately. If we mix it and keep the vegetables generally let out water and the whole salad will be watery. If the salad is going to be served immediately then we can mix it and serve. I pack this salad for my husband for his dinner at least two days a week and he loves it.Just toss it up and have fun.

Boiled Macaroni 2 cups
Pineapple diced 1 cup
Tomato 1 cored and diced
Cucumber diced 1 cup

Lettuce chopped 2 cups
Capsicum diced ½ cup
Lime Juice – 1 tsp

Salt and pepper as per taste

¾ Cup Thick Yogurt whisked with a fork or spoon to creamy texture
¼ tsp crushed raw mustard
A pinch or 2 of salt
Few drops of lime juice
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp finely chopped capsicum
1 tbs Tomato ketchup( No onion No garlic from Kissan)

Boil Macaroni till it becomes soft. Drain the water and cool it immediately by pouring cold water on it.Mix all the above mentioned ingredients of the salad in a salad bowl. Garnish with Little boiled corn, pomegranate,coriander leaves and cheese.For the dressing mix all the mentioned ingredients in a bowl.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Wheat Poori - Crispy

Poori is a Asian puffy bread made from a dough of atta (whole grain wheat flour), and deep fried in oil.Its a very traditional and delicious recipe and you can serve this poori with any types of curries. It tastes good when its hot, serve it immediately.


Wheat flour - 1 cup
Semolina/suji /Farina- 1 1/2 tbs
salt to taste
water - 1/4 cup ( as required)
Oil for deep frying


Soak semolina in a little water for 15 mins.
In a mixing bowl ,take wheat flour,semolina,salt & water and knead to a fine dough
Heat enough oil to sink the poori in a pan.
Make small balls of the dough and roll it into flat and round shaped poori sheets. Make thin crustwith a rolling pin and deep fry in oil.
Apply flour if the dough sticks while rolling. Now this sheets are ready to deep fry.
Deep fry the puris till they become light brown.

Note : Add a little salt to the oil to keep it from smoking.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Carrot Milk Shake

This is a healthy drink and a excellent beverage to cool down during hot summer. I got this suggestion when I was doing the service in* LA Iskcon Temple * Deity Kitchen.. A pinch of cardamom powder gives a nice aroma and it does taste yummy. This can be consumed as a good breakfast and beverage for lunch.


Cold Milk - 1 1/2 cups
Carrot - 1 large
Sugar - 1 1/2 tbsp
Cardamom powder - 2 pinch
Blanched Almonds - 4 ( optional )


Clean and wash the carrot
Cut the carrot into fine cubes
In a blender add the carrot , milk, sugar , cardamom powder , Almonds ( optional )
Blend it until the carrot mixed well with the milk
Pour in a glass serve it cold

Note : Strain through a sieve if you don't have a extractor jar

Peanut Chutney

Peanut chutney is a simple chutney and makes great accompainment to idly, dosa, upma and pongal. It is my favorite chutney and I make it very often.. When served with rice it should have a thick consistency and a bit dilute for idlis and dosas . Hot rice, ghee and peanut chutney is like feast for us! Here I have prepared a simple chutney with raw peanuts and you can prepare this during Ekadesi by eliminating mustard,urad dal, Asafoetida .Worth a shot – here goes the recipe.

1 cup peanuts
5 Red Chillies- adjust to your taste
Tamarind lemon sized
Fresh Coconut - 2 Tbs
Curry Leaves - 4 to 5
Salt to taste
For Seasoning:
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp urad dal (white lentils)
1/4 tsp Cumin Seeds
Asafoetida - a pinch
4 curry leaves
1 tsp Olive oil

Dry roast the peanuts in a pan for few minutes along with Curry leaves,Fresh Grated Coconut,Red Chillies.Turn off the fire when you see the peanuts turn to golden brown color. Cool it down and blend it into a smooth paste by adding little tamarind.Heat oil in a pan. Once the mustard crackles, remove from heat and pour it to the chutney.

Note : I use cumin seeds & curry leaves on Ekadesi for seasoning...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Vegetable Biryani

Vegetable Biriyani is a spicy rice based food made with different kinds of spices and vegetables. The word biryani is derived from Persian word called beryan which means fried or roasted. Biryani was brought to the Indian sub-continent by the muslim travelers and merchants. There are many versions of making biryani.
I made this vegetable biryani without  onion and garlic.  I got some tips in making this biryani from my aunt Mrs.Parvathy Dharmarajan and my mom Mrs.Geetha Sundaram. This my husband's favourite dish.

Basmati rice 1 1/2 cup
Ghee- 4-5 table tsp
carrot- 1
beans- 7
potato- 1
cabbage- 1/2 cup (finely chopped)
tomato- 4
paneer- 1/2 cup (small cubes)
green peas- 1/2 cup
cauliflower- 10-15 florets
green chillies- 2 ( adjust according to taste)
ginger- 1 inch
mint leaves- 1/2 a bunch
cilantro- 1 cup (finely chopped)
yogurt- 1/2 cup
corriander powder- 1 tsp
red chilli powder- 1 tsp (adjust according to taste)
turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
garam masala 1 tsp
shahi jeera- 1/2 tsp
fennel seed - 1/2 tsp
cinamon stick - 1 (1 inch)
cloves- 2
cardamom- 3
hing- a pinch
food colour (orange)- a pinch
cashews- 15
Bread slices- 2

Wash and soak the rice for 20 mins. Cook the rice in a pressure cooker with 1 1/2 cup of water and 1 tsp of ghee.
Transfer the cooked rice in to a wide bowl and work on it slowly so the rice doesnt break. Chop carrot and potatoes length wise and evenly. Grind the tomatoes, cinamon stick, cardamom, cloves, green chillies and ginger in a blender to a paste. Heat 2 tsp of ghee in  a wok. Add shahi jeera, fennel seeds. When it cracks add hing and chopped cabbage and fry them till golden brown. Now add the ground paste along with a cup of water. Add the garam masala, turmeric powder, corriander powder, red chilli powder and allow it to cook for 2 minutes. Add the other veggies and salt and allow it to cook for 5-7 minutes. When the veggies are cooked add yogurt and paneer and finely chopped mint leaves and saute them for 2-3 minutes until the water gets absorbed and becomes a thick vegetable curry. Mix the food colur in a tablespoon of water and add it to the rice and mix gently. Take a large vessel and put half of the rice. Then layer it with the vegetable curry. Add the remaining rice and layer it with the remaining vegetable curry. Close the vessel with a lid and shake it nicely upwads and downwards and sideways so that the contents get mixed well. Open the lid and stir it gently. Make sure the rice doesn't break and the veggies doen't get smashed. Pre-heat the over for 10 minutes and keep the biryani in the oven for 10 minutes. Now heat 1 tsp of ghee and roast the cashews. To make bread croutons , cut the bread in to small cubes.  Heat 2 tsp of ghee in a pan and fry them until golden brown. Remove the biryani from the oven. Garnish the biryani with cilantro leaves, roasted cashews and bread croutons. Spicy vegetable biryani is ready. This can be served with any kind of raita.

Note: Normally basmati rice requires 1: 1 1/2 cup of water for cooking. But for the kind of basmati rice I'm using it requires only 1:1 cup of water.