Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year Wishes


Happy New Year Wish

My Happy New Year wish for you

Is for your best year yet,

A year where life is peaceful,

And what you want, you get.

A year in which you cherish

The past year’s memories,

And live your life each new day,

Full of bright expectancies.

I wish for you a holiday

With happiness galore;

And when it’s done, I wish you

Happy New Year, and many more.

By Joanna Fuchs

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


The Cupcake evolved in the United States in the 19th century,and it was revolutionary because of the amount of time it saved in the kitchen and the ingredients for them were measured in cups instead of weighed,as had been the custom.It was indeed a matter of suprise to me when i came to know that there is a special day for"cupcake"in U.S. Classic cupcakes, buttercream frosted vanilla, lemon and red velvet cupcakes are just a few of the many varieties of cupcakes that are always big favorites for birthday parties, holidays and school events.With so many cupcake recipes to pick from,there certainly is a classic that is a hands-down favorite for many: the chocolate cupcake.Frost them with chocolate frosting or use vanilla buttercream frosting for a nice change.Here i am going to give you a choclate cupcake recipe which was a part of Holiday Party Menu and was even over before the first Parent went looking for it........Kid's loved it!!!!

Frosting Ingredients
Butter - 5 oz
confectioners (icing) sugar -8 oz
cocoa powder - 2 tbsp
Hot water 2 tsp
Cupcake Ingredients
All-purpose flour - 1 cup
Natural unsweetened cocoa - 6 tbsp
Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
Sugar - 1 cup
Egg - 2 (at room temperature)
Egg yolk - 1 (at room temperature)
Vanilla - 1/2 tsp
Baking powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Unsalted butter - 8 tbsp
Water - 1/2 cup
Recipe for Frosting
1.Beat together the butter and sugar with an electric beater.
2.Once well combined, add the combined cocoa powder and water. Beat until smooth and creamy.
Recipe for Cupcake
1)Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2)Line cupcake with paper liners in the tray.
3)Blend the flour with the cocoa powder,baking soda,baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
4)Using an electric mixer at medium speed beat butter about 2 minutes.
5)Gradually add the sugar.Beat until smooth for about 5 minutes.
6)Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the whole eggs and yolk 1 at a time.Beat in the vanilla.
7)Bring water just to a boil in a small saucepan and remove from the heat.
8)Set the mixer at low speed and beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture a little at a time.
9)Add hot water, about 2 tablespoons at a time, and mix until batter is smooth.
10)Divide the batter among the cups in the cupcake tray.Fill about 2/3 full.
11)Bake approximately 20 minutes or when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
12)Cool the cupcakes in the tin on a rack for 10 minutes and then complete by decorating with frosting.This recipe makes 12 cupcakes.

1)Don't overmix your batter.This will cause your cupcakes to be rather chewy instead of perfectly moist.
2)Bake your cupcakes at the proper temperature. Preheat your oven to the correct temperature before you put your cupcakes in the oven.
3)Cupcakes are best eaten the same day they are made. Undecorated cupcakes can be frozen up to 3 months.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Paneer Pakora

Paneer was accidental invention by Mongols riding their horses carrying milk in Mushki (Bags made of raw-hyde). The heat of desserts and the rennet in the leather turned the milk into Paneer.Actually, you have to wait till the Mughal empire, when Paneer is finally incorporated in to Indian Foods.The Paneer was introduced during Akbar period late 1500s.Easy to make and yummy in taste, is the perfect explanation for this wonderful appetizer Paneer Pakora.
Paneer cubed pieces - 14oz
Besan flour - 1 cup
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Salt as per taste
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Chat Masala - 1/2 tsp
Soda - 1 pinch
1)Cut the paneer into thick cubes.Keep aside.
2)Mix all the remaining ingredients.Add little water and beat the mixture to form a thick and smooth batter.
3)Heat oil in a deep frying pan.
4)Dip the paneer pieces into the batter and deep fry on medium heat until golden brown.
5)Keep on paper towels to drain oil and serve.
Serve hot with ripened chilli chutney or Coriander chutney.(I have given the recipe for both) Enjoy!!!

1)Beating the batter in the blender for 4-5 mins will incorporate air,this will make the pakora fluffier.
2)Rest the batter for 10 -15 mins .

Corriander Chutney

The word corriander derives from Latin “coriandrum”.The oldest coriander fruits were discovered in the Nahal Hemar cave in Israel. They are considered to be over 8,000 years old. Some Sanskrit (Sand script) texts talk of coriander's cultivation in ancient India nearly 7,000 years ago although there are but a few plant fossils exist to back up the literature.The Chinese believe that the seeds of a coriander plant have the power to bestow immortality. The peruvians used the seeds and the leaves to flavour food and the ancient Egyptians used just the leaves in soup. In fact seeds have been found in the tombs from the 21st Egyptian Dynasty.
Coriander roots have a deeper, more intense flavor than the leaves.They are used in a variety of Asian cuisines. They are commonly used in Thai dishes, including soups and curry pastes.Fresh coriander leaves are an essenential ingredient in many Indian recipes particilarly in chutneys.Chopped coriander leaves are also used as a garnish on cooked dishes such as dal and many curries.This authentic Corriander chutney is so versatile and goes with most foods and tastes great.You can have it as a side dish,as a spread or a dip for savouries like pakoras and samosas,bread or cheese rolls,the choice is yours.
Corriander leaves chopped - 4-5 cups
Lemon juice from 2
oil - 1 tbsp
Urud dal - 1 tbsp
Red chilli- 1-2
Salt as per taste
Ginger - 1 inch piece

1)Wash coriander,drain well to remove any excess moisture.
2)Heat oil in a pan,add urud dal,red chilli and ginger.Fry them for a minute.Switch of the stove and fry the corriander leaves for about 30-40 secs in the same heat.
3)Mix in all the ingredients and blend in to a fine paste.

Ripened Chilli Chutney / Pandu mirapakaya pachadi

Chillies belong to the same family as tomatoes, potatoes and eggplant. They came originally from the West Indies and quickly spread to India and Asia, then to North Africa and Spain.Pandu mirapakaya(ripened chilli)is a very famous variety grown in abundance in Palnadu region of Andhra pradesh (Guntur district and the surrounding areas).It's hot red color and it's spiciness makes it unique.This is a very tasty version of Pandu mirapakaya chutney.I have an interesting story behind this chutney.Breeze was coming in and the day was settling in,our entire day had gone in traveling.We were heading to Vaishnavi Devi temple in Katra,61 kms from Jammu with an altitude of 1,700m (5,100ft).This is the only temple in India where all three Goddesses are worshipped in the same place.It is of course a heaven on Earth experience,a must visit place. It was perfect time for a hot appetizer.My mother-in-law being a big fan of junk saw a small road side shop asked if we can have some snacks there.My father-in-law and husband reluctantly took us there and the vendor was making hot hot Paneer pakora.He served it with Pandu mirapakaya chutney.Each one of us ended having 2-3 plates and still felt we can help ourselves with more.This chutney is a perfect combo for Paneer Pakora,Baji...
Ripe Red chillies - 12-15
Fenugreek seeds - 1 tsp
Tamarind 1/2 Lemon size ball
Salt as per taste
Sugar - 2 tbsp

1)Wash and wipe the peppers dry.
2)Dry roast the fenugreek seeds. Allow it to cool.
3)Dry roast the chillies till they are tender and also the tamarind for 30 secs.
4)Now transfer all the ingredients to a blender add sugar and salt,pulse to get a fine paste.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Chinese Fried Rice

Chinese fried rice,while the exact origins of fried rice are lost to history,it’s believed that it was invented sometime during the Sui dynasty (589 – 618 AD),in the city of Yangzhou in eastern Jiangsu province.Yangchow (Yangzhou) Fried Rice is still the standard by which all other Chinese fried rice dishes are judged: morsels of fluffy rice tossed with roast pork, prawns, scallions and peas. In American-Chinese restaurants you’ll sometimes find it called "special fried rice".Fried rice is a staple food of many cuisines and cultures,prized for its versatility and economy.Although fried rice has Chinese roots,American,Cuban,Indonesian and Hawaiian versions are popular today.Fried rice is a great way to use up leftover rice,vegetables,meats,and even fruits.This is our favorite quick and tasty meal and makes an awesome pair with Spicy Manchurian.
Oil - 3tbsp
Onion chopped - 1(Red Onions cut lengthwise)
Beans chopped - 1/2 cup
Carrot chopped - 1/2 cup
Capsicum chopped - 1/2 cup
Spring Onion finely chopped- 2
Eggs - 2
Peas -1/2 cup
Soy sauce - 2 tbsp(add more if you like)
Rice - 2 cups
Bean sprouts - 1 cup
Green chilies - 2
Black Pepper as per taste
Salt as per taste
1)Soak rice for 15 mins and drain.Cook them with salt.Take care not to overcook the rice.Each grain of rice should be seperate.
2)Heat a wok or frying pan and add 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil. When the oil is hot, add the eggs,and salt(Take care to add salt just enough for the scrambled egg).Cook,stirring,until they are lightly scrambled but not too dry. Remove the eggs and clean out the wok.
3)Heat the remaining oil in the wok and add the green chilies,chopped onions and stir-fry until onions turn a nice browen colour,about 5-7 minutes.Then mix the vegetables(Beans,Carrot,Capsicum.Peas,Spring
onions) and stir fry for 4-5 minutes.
4)Add rice and bean sprouts, tossing to mix well; stir-fry for 3 minutes.

5)Add 2 tbsp of Soy sauce,pepper,scrambled egg and stir fry for one more minute till the rice and all the other ingredients blend well.
1)The authentic recipe uses Sesame oil.
2)Take care that vegetables are not overdone,they should be crisp.
3)Take care not to add to much salt because soy sauce already has salt.
4)Even two days old rice is perfectly fine this recipe.
5)Mushroom,cabbage,leak,bOk choy,celery,broccoli,celery,tofu(For stir-frying or deep-frying, use firm or extra-firm tofu. Firm tofu will keep its shape and not fall apart in the wok.Drain the tofu before
using, as this allows it to absorb the other flavors in the dish) also go great with Chinese Fried Rice.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Green gram dal bhaji(Pesara Punukulu)

The Green gram forms a very nutritious article of diet.Green gram dal is free from the heaviness and tendency to flatulence, which is associated with other pulses.This plant is a native of India and since ancient times it has been in cultivation.Water in which green grams arc soaked is an excellent medicine during cholera, measles, chicken-pox, small-pox, typhoid and all types of fevers. Flour of the green gram is an excellent detergent and can be used as a substitute for soap. It removes the dirt and does not cause any skin irritation. Punukulu are little crispy fritters from Andhra region made from this dal and are often had as a tea time snack.The exterior looks golden and crispy, the inner portion tastes soft and chevy.

Whole Green gram dal - 1 cup
Green chillies - 2
Curry leaves - 8
Ginger - 1 inch
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Soda - 1 pinch
Salt as per taste
Garlic - 1
Oil for deep frying
Coriander leaves chopped - 2 sprigs
1)Soak the Green gram dal for about 5 hrs (split) or overnight(whole Moong).
2)Grind the dal along with green chillies,ginger,garlic and salt adding very little water.
3)Then mix in the other ingredients such as curry leaves,soda,coriander leaves and cumin seeds.
4)Heat oil in a deep bottom vessel.Once its piping hot,reduce the flame to medium.Take a spoonful and drop in the oil and fry till a golden brown color.You can drop 5-6 at a time.Once done have with your favorite chutney and tea.
1)Can add little rice flour if the consistency should be adjusted.
2)Best eaten hot,off the skillet.
3)Can use 2 tsp of idli/dosa batter to give extra crispiness.

Zucchini Chutney

The word Zucchini comes from the Italian word Zucchino, meaning a small squash.The term squash comes from the Indian skutasquash meaning "green thing eaten green".They are very nutritiuos and rich in almost everything Manganese,Vitamin C,Potassium.Copper folate,Protein....In a culinary context,Zucchini is treated as a vegetable, which means it is usually cooked and presented as a savory dish or accompaniment. Botanically, however, the zucchini is an immature fruit.In Mexico, the flower of Zucchini is often used for a very popular native soup.Here i am going to share the recipe of a very delicious Zucchini chutney.
Oil - 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Cashews - 2 tbsp
Chanadal Roasted (Dalia) -1 tbsp
Ginger chopped - 1 inch piece
Garlic chopped - 3-4 cloves
Tamarind - 1/2 lemon size
Green chillies - 4
Curry leaves -5
Tomato chopped- 1/2
Zucchini peeled and chopped - 2
Salt as per taste
For Tempering
Oil - 1 tbsp
Red chilli -2
Mustard - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Urad Dal - 1 tsp
Coriander leaves chopped - 1 sprig
Curry leaves -10
1)Heat oil in a sauce pan,add the Mustard seeds,cumin seeds and once they splutter add Cashew nuts,chanadal and saute for about 30 secs
2)To this add ginger,garlic,tamarind,green chillies,curry leaves and fry nicely.
3)Now add the chopped tomatoes and Zuccini.Cover and cook for about 10 mins or till soft and well done(Add in little water if necessary).
4)Then mix in salt and blend this into a fine paste.
For Tempering
1)Heat oil in a pan and add Red chilli,mustard seeds, urad dal, and cumin seeds, when they splutter add curry leaves.
2)Remove from heat and add it to the zucchini mixture and then add coriander leaves.Goes well with rice,chapaties and also for sandwiches.

1)Deep frying or roasting Zucchini add up more taste to the chutney.
2)Zucchini can also be boiled separately and added to save time.

Paruppu Thuvaiyal

Paruppu Thuvaiyal is rich in protein and it's a nice combination to go with milagu kuzhambu,rasam,plain rice and ghee.This recipe was told to me by my friend Vidhya's mom nearly 10 years back.I still love this as a quick addition to my food menu.
Toor dal - 1 cup
Channa Dal - 1/4 cup
Asafodita - 3 pinches
Garlic - 3
Pepper - 6
Red chilli - 2-3
Salt as per taste

1)Fry all the above ingredients without oil,and grind with little water for desired consistency.
1)You can also make Greengram dal thuvaiyal just by substituting Greengram dal for Toor dal,while the ingredients and the process remains the same.
1)You can also add a tablespoon of fresh coconut gratings while grinding.In that case you cannot store for long.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tomoto Rice

Tomato Rice is a popular South Indian recipe.I love it's tangy taste. This is one of the best dishes. Tomato's origins can be traced back to the early Aztecs around 700 A.D; therefore it is believed that the tomato is native to the Americans.An interesting aspect of tomato history is the classic debate: Is the Tomato a Fruit or Vegetable? (To be! not to be!) Although the facts about tomatoes put them in the fruit category, it is a food that we commonly think of and use as a vegetable.The English word tomato comes from the Spanish tomatl, first appearing in print in 1595.Tomatoes are rich in vitamins A and C and fibre, and are cholesterol free.
Here is my version of Tomato rice's recipe.
Oil - 4 tbsp
Bay Leaf - 1
Cardomon - 1
Cloves - 2
Cashew - 1/4 cup
Onion Medium chopped - 1
Ginger finely chopped - 1 inch piece
Garlic finly chopped -4-5
Green Chilli slit - 2
Tomatoes big(very finely chopped) - 2
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Salt as per taste
Turmeric - 2 pinches
Garam Masala Powder - 1 tsp
Basmati Rice - 2 cups
Fresh Corriander - 1
With Pressure Cooker
1)Heat oil in a Pressure cokker and add Bay leaf,Cardomon,Cloves.Fry them for about 30 secs and then add the onions,fry till trasnlucent.
2)To this add Ginger and Garlic,fry for a minute and add green chillies and Tomato.
3)Keep mixing till the tomatoes blend nicely for about 4-5 minutes
4)Then mix in the other spices,Chilli powder,Turmeric powder and Garam Masala.
5)Cook on medium heat for 3-4 minutes,stirring frequently.
6)Now add the corriander leaves,water(For 2 cups of rice i use 3/12 cup of water as there is little water in the Tomato Gravy we have made),salt and rice. Give a nice mix and pressure cook it for 2 whistles.
With Rice Cooker
1)Follow the same recipe for making tomato mix as above in a pan and then transfer it to a Rice cooker.
2)Add 2 cups of rice and 4 cups of water.
3)Once done mix them nicely.
4)And Cook them in the rice cooker
With Plain Rice
1)Make the rice seperately with rice cooker or Pressure cooker.
2)Make the tomato mix (with just enough water content in it, so that it mixes well with the rice and does not make it soggy) in a large skillet and then mix the rice well enough to blend together.
In a Wok with lid
1)Make the Tomato mix in the wok.
2)In the meantime soak the rice for about 15-20 mins in water.
3)Then add water 3-3/12 cup for 2 cups of rice.Stir nicely and close with the lid.
4)Let it cook for 15-20 minutes undisturbed.

1)It tastes more better with Basmathi rice.
2)If not served immediately(for large quatities), then pour into a oven safe tray, sprinkle little water, cover with aluminum foil, keep the tray in the oven and maintain oven temp. at 200 F.
3)Adding mint leaves and pea pods brings in some jest to the rice.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Brinjal Chutney

Brinjal chutney is a common recipe in the rural households of Andhra Pradesh.The brinjal is believed to have been domesticated in north-eastern India where wild forms still grow.
The seeds were carried to China more than 1500 years ago where small fruited types were later developed.Brinjal is rich in Vitamin A and B.India is the second largest producer of Brinjal.
Brinjal – 7-8 Nos
Turmeric powder – 2 pinches
Onion finely chopped – 1
Green chillies chopped – 3-4
Mustard – ½ tsp
Tamarind – Walnut size (soaked in water)
Coconut gratings – 3 tablespoon
Asafotida powder – 1 pinch
Oil – 4 tsps
Urad dhal – 1 teaspoon
Curry leaves – 4-5
1)Cut the Bringals into medium size pieces and boil them in a pan with little water/ microwave them for 7-8 mins with little water.
2)Allow the brinjals to cool down and then grind them with coconut gratings into a coarse paste.Keep aside.
3)In a Pan,heat oil,add the mustard seeds,once they splutter add the urad dhal and asafetida.
4)To this add the chopped onion,green chillies,curry leaves,Turmeric and fry till the onion turns transparent.
5)Then mix in the brinjal paste,tamarind juice and salt.
6)Mix little water to adjust consistency and cook for few more minutes for all the spices to blend.This would take 5-6 Minutes.
7)After this switch off the stove and serve with rice or chapathi.

Apply little oil over the brinjal, hold it on thongs and grill it over the flame of the stove till the skin shrinks.Once done you can remove the skin and follow the same recipe from step 2.