March 3, 2015

Methi Matar Malai - low fat version | Easy side dish for Roti and chapatis | North Indian Gravies

I love fenugreek - in both dried and fresh forms. Thankfully my family does too - and we are lucky to have access to fresh fenugreek (menthye soppu in kannada, venthaya keerai in tamil, methi bhaji in hindi) through the year. A rich source of calcium and folic acid, we especially love Methi Rice, Grilled Methi Bhakri Pizza, Methi Kadhi, Kadai Methi Matar, Aloo-Methi stir fry and a rustic Menthe Kattina saaru (fenugreek leaves-dal broth) that mom makes amazingly well :-) :-))

Its been 50 months since we at Blogging Marathon (BM) family got together. We had a lovely meet with most of the India-based bloggers last week. 

This week, as part of BM # 50, we have fenugreek leaves as the theme. First in this series,  is a low-cal and low fat version of the popular restaurant dish Methi Matar Malai. Simply translated it means fenugreek and peas simmered in a rich creamy gravy.  As usual, I knew there would be no takers for such a creamy dish at home, so used non fatty substitutes for a yummy meal. Even my FIL who is generally taciturn approved of this dish, and asked for second helpings. So, thats saying a lot I guess. 

Notes: we made this once with onions and once without. Both were equally tasty. 

Prep time : 15 mins | Cook time : 20 mins | Serves : 4
Methi matar Malai - low fat version  : Fenugreek leaves and peas in creamy gravy
Serving suggestions : Chapati / Roti / Naan or Kulcha

February 23, 2015

BM # 50 - A Snapshot....

Having been part of the 50th Blogging marathon in person was an experience worth sharing. There are a lot of us BMers who would post this event in their blogs day by day, and event by event pics for all of us on the blogging marathon family circle : a family that Srivalli led by the front. My post here is providing a different perspective that I personally experienced and at close quarters.

The much awaited BM 50 (Blogging Marathon) meet just concluded on Sunday, and boy it was fun ! 50 months of non stop cooking, non stop emails and non stop chatting : All this while I had been chatting to people who are so much a part of ur social ecosystem, and putting a face to that name was exciting, fun and exhilarating. Late night chats, some of the foodies in us going into OCD levels of clicking each moment, each prop and vying to neck out and see that demo, video shoots,pani puri shots, cake carving, food studio visits : all of this was so much fun. 

For me, it was more interesting to see the personal  & emotional angle where Padma as the too-perfect hostess made sure we were completely comfortable in her house that we usurped , and Veena, who led logistical and emotional support throughout the event. Of course Princy (vaishali) was driven crazy by the tamil-speaking girls who giggled when she wandered in with a (invisible) stick and threatened to fine us if we spoke in our native language. 

Hospitality means primarily the creation of free space where the stranger can enter and become a friend instead of an enemy. Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place. It is not to bring men and women over to our side, but to offer freedom not disturbed by dividing lines.” 

As the quote by Henri Nouwen (above) goes, it isn't easy to open your doors and heart to (almost) complete strangers : strangers whom you would have never met otherwise or given a second glance if you had met them at the market or an airport. It takes guts and strength to arrange and successfully complete this kind of event, and kudos to all the South bloggers (Padma, Kamalika, Valli, PJ, Veena, Gayatri, Nandini) who arranged every detail with so much passion it was exhilarating. Pradnya, Usha, Archana and Vaishali provided so much fun and laughter its impossible to record them through words. 

Although I missed some crucial parts like meeting the bloggers' personal family / kin and a few key events , it was warm all along, and thanks to Padma who didn't lose her composure any moment with almost rowdy-like hilarious momagers(moms who acted like teenagers) who had all-but hijacked her house and the two lil adorable kids who accompanied us on all our outings during the trip. 

It showed no matter how far or near you live,  LOVE is one thing that binds the world. So, here's signing off from BM 50 as I leave you with a picture collage, and looking forward to BM75 (about 2 yrs from now) where some of us (shhh) have some ideas already brimming! 

PS: due to personal privacy and respect to the other bloggers, have put up a collage with food and food related pics (without tagging any person on pics). The rest shall be shared privately.

Till then…


February 17, 2015

Winner of the giveaway....

Thanks friends for all your entries on the anniversary giveaway, and a big thanks for your continued support and wishes... The lucky winner chosen randomly is Sandhya Ramakrishnan !

Congrats to the winner. I shall be contacting Sandhya separately, and need an India billing address for shipping.

Thanks to all the friends for your entries. Do keep your support on for Sizzling Tastebuds


February 12, 2015

Tikki Chole Chaat | Spicy Chaat recipes

Chaat is welcome in any form at my place. I had a batch of cooked and frozen chickpeas, and when my elder girl asked me to make something chatpata (spicy) on a rather chilly Sunday afternoon, I suggested that I make this. She was more than eager to help me assemble the chaat, and thanks to inspiration from Vaishali who had posted a similar post that morning, we enjoyed making it and wolfing them down. Although slightly tedious, this is very similar to the Ragda patties or the Dry Tikki Chaat.  The base instead of dried peas gravy is similar to the Chole (chickpeas gravy) served with Puri or Bhature.  Topped with sev , chutneys and a dash of yoghurt, this makes for a lipsmacking and colourful chaat for any party or get together. 

Sending this to Day 3 of Kids Colourful dishes. Hope u enjoyed the series with Hung Curd Canapes, Badam Palak Shorba and today's post with Tikki Chole Chaat.  Linking it to Varada's Kids Delight - Colourful Dishes event, who's hosting it this month

Prep time: 45 mins | Cook time : 15 mins | Serves : 6
Type : Snack / Chaat, Indian, Spice level : Medium to high


(A) For the Tikki:
Potatoes - 3/4 kg - boiled , peeled and grated
Boiled Peas - 1/4 cup
Onions - 2 large, minced
Bread Crumbs - 1/4 cup
Salt - to taste
Green chillies - 2 or 3 - chopped fine
Cashews - 4 to5  - broken into bits
Oil - to shallow fry
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
red chilli powder, Garam Masala powder - each 1 TBSP
Coriander leaves

Chole :
Cooked Chickpeas - 2 cups
Oil - 4 tsp
Soda - 1/2 tsp
Tomato - 4 ripe - pureed
Onions - 2 large - minced
Salt - to taste
Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 TBSP
Minced Green Chillies - 1/2 TBSP

Dry Masalas:
Garam Masala Powder - 1 TBSP
Chole Masala - 2 TBSP
Red Chilli powder - 1 TBSP
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 TBSP
Kitchen King Masala - 1/2 TBSP
Amchur / Dry Mango Powder - 1/2 TBSP
Dry Anardana Powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder / Dhania powder - 2 TBSP
Clove powder - 1/4 tsp

For Topping:
Coriander leaves
Chat Masala 
Sev / Ompudi
Lemon juice
Minced Onions & tomatoes
Pomogranate pearls
Beaten yoghurt - 1/2 cup (optional)

Chole: Follow this method to make Chole. If you have cooked / canned chickpeas, drain and make the usual recipe with Chole. Let the gravy be little dry and not too runny.

To make the tikki, mix all the ingredients under Tikki list and make into tikkis. If not making immediately, refrigerate for upto 12 hours. Else blast freeze for 10 mins to make them firm. Shallow fry in oil and drain on paper tissues. 

To assemble the chaat: 
Take 2 tikkis per serving, mash them up slightly. Add a ladle full of prepared chole. Top with chopped onions, tomatoes, a dash of yoghurt and all the chutneys and toppings. Add sev and serve immediately. 

February 11, 2015

Badam Palak Shorba | Spinach soup with Broccoli and Almond | Easy Soup recipes

Soups are sought after by my elder one. She loves a variety of soups, although Toor dal- Carrot Soup is her favourite. I generally make it on weekends when she can enjoy this. Today's soup is a quick to make & calcium rich Palak Almond Soup that I made for her post school-its not only filling but very healthy too. Hope you enjoy this colourful hearty soup during winters, when Spinach is available in abundance. You can use fresh or frozen, regular or baby spinach. As I have access to fresh spinach through the year, we make this regularly. Addition of broccoli is optional, but I added this to have a bite. Linking it to Varada's Kids Delight - Colourful Dishes event, who's hosting it this month

Prep time : 15 mins | Cook time: 10 mins | Serves : 2
Palak Almond soup with Broccoli. 
Cuisine : Indian, Course : Appetiser | Spice Level : Medium
Can be made vegan if desired
Serving Suggestions : Garlic bread, toasted bread, soup sticks

  • Spinach - fresh (regular) - 1/2 cup (packed)
  • Almond meal - 1/4 cup*
  • Shallots / baby onions - 4 to 6
  • Garlic pods - 1 large
  • Broccoli - 5-8 mini florets (about 1/4 cup)
  • Butter / oil - 1 TBSP
  • Salt and pepper - to taste
  • Milk - 3/4 cup
  • cream - to garnish - 1 tsp (optional)

*In place of almond meal, simply blanch, dry and powder coarsely a handful of almonds. I soaked them for 30 mins, and pureed them along with the skin on. 

  1. In a pan, add half the butter / oil. saute the garlic and onions for 4-5 mins till they soften a bit. Remove. In the same oil, saute spinach for 1-2 mins without any water till it wilts a bit. Remove and cool. Add the remaining oil and saute the washed and drained broccoli for 3-4 mins till slightly sauteed but still crunchy. 
  2.  In a blender, puree spinach, onions, garlic to a fine puree. Add almond meal and puree once more, but not too much. 
  3. Return this puree to the pan, let it simmer along with the broccoli. Add milk , salt and pepper as desired. 
  4. Check for spice and salt. Once creamy, transfer to a serving bowl. finish with cream and top with pepper if required.
  5. Serve with croutons / soup sticks as desired

 Sending this to BM #49, colourful dishes theme
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