August 16, 2011

Fruit Chaat with Honey and Nuts

Back with the Blogging Marathon (BM) this week with No Fire Cooking. When Valli announced BM#8, I jumped at this theme as I was planning to get my 6 year old to get me to help put together her own breakfast and some snacks for some time now . Kids , especially girls I guess have this insatiable curiousity with the kitchen and they want to help out carrying out small chores in the kitchen. With BM and through this week, I would work along with my daughter and help make and taste small no-cook dishes .. Hope you enjoy this journey as much I am looking forward to it..

August 15, 2011

Low Calorie Basil Chilli Cheese Toast

Some recipes are like dowry - one is accustomed to it since childhood. Some grow on you. Many more - you love to hate at first and then hate to leave them, while they work like magic on you over a period of time. Chilli cheese toast (called CCT in my family) fitted into the latter category . Bottom line - I hate cheese (yes, people like me exist on Planet Earth). S and kiddo love to experiment with different cheese varieties while on vacation (or at home, for that matter)., while for me, its another variant of milk - period ! Cheese strings dangled from Pizzas is still a must-no for me (I prefer it to be loaded with veggies though), but this dish - CCT - has rather grown on me, thanks to it being a standard fixture at our local club, where kiddo wants to go often (more to eat than to swim or play).

So, while today's program to visit the club was washed out due to heavy rains, the only way to pep her up was to try it at home (yes, try it : While I wanted to make this many times at home earlier,this was my maiden venture,and boy ! I didnt want to fail :-) ) .. As the kiddo looked on expectantly, even helping me clear the kitchen counter after the toasts were sent to bake (what a sweet and rare gesture), I was hoping that this would be a moderate success ! One bite into the smoothy creamy CCT on the rather crusty bread slices , and I was hooked !! The basil -cheese combo is sure to perk up your senses ! :-) Even mom who is not into cheese had a bite and the verdict was unanimous - Yeh Dil Maange More :-) (Want more) !! Try this out, and am sure this will be a hit at any party or as a favourite finger food with kids too

Now, lets get on to my version of Low Cal Basil Chilli Cheese Toast....yes, one with no butter too :-)

This goes straight to :

Prep time : 10 mins. Baking time : 12 - 15 mins. Makes : 8 to 10 CCTs (halved triangle shapes)

Ingredients :
  • Bread Slices (White or Brown) - 10 slices, although White bread renders this better
  • Cheese - 2 to 3 cubes (or use 3 TBSP processed cheesy spread)
  • Melted Ghee - 1/2 tsp (yes!)
  • Capsicum (Bell Pepper) - 1/2
  • Green Chilli - 1 (opt.) - I did not use it as this was for the kiddo
  • Basil - 1 tsp
  • Red chilli flakes - 1/2 tsp
  • Oregano - a dash (opt)
  • White pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt - optional (As the cheese cubes /processed cheese is already salted, please add with caution)

1) Grate the cheese cubes. Add finely diced (1/2 mm sized) bell pepper, basil, red chilli flakes, pepper powder and mix well. If using chillies, deseed them , dice and add. Mix again. If using cheesy spread, mix the pepper and the dry herbs and then spoon in the cheesy spread
2) Dip ur finger in the melted ghee and grease the slices
3) Spread a spoonful of the cheesy mixture on the bread slices
4) Pre heat oven to 180 C. Spray cooking oil on a baking tray (or just about brush them with oiled fingertips - you dont need any more oil, trust me).
5) Cut the cheesy slices into half (diagonally) on the baking tray. You may cut them later too, but it bakes faster with smaller pieces.
6) Bake for 8- 9 mins at 200 C and then for 2 - 4 mins on grill mode till the cheese slightly melts.
7) Serve hot with Tomato ketchup :-) We had this with steaming cups of green tea while enjoying the monsoons :-)

August 14, 2011

Tiranga Shimla Mirch Sabji ~ Bell pepper Stir fry

Playing along the fever around the 64th Indian Independence day , presenting a simple to make, yet tasty dry curry with all the colours of the Tri-colour : Hence the name Tiranga (tricolour) :-) Capsicum (bell pepper) along with Potatoes and Carrots come together in this tasty curry that goes perfect with Rotis and Rice alike.
This is a wonderful curry even for lunchboxes for kids too, and am sure kids would love the spicy combo of the veggies. Sending this to my own event - Healthy Lunchbox Ideas (Carrots) and Radhika's Sabjis for Rotis. Let's move to the dish, shall we ...

August 13, 2011

New Event Announcement : Foods for Fasting (Vrat ka Khaana) - under My Mother's Kitchen series - ends 30th Sep 2011

After the super successful editions of My Mother's Kitchen series - One Pot Meals and Indian Mithai Mela, am pleased to announce the third edition under " Foods for fasting - Vrat ka Khana special" ... The months of Aashaad and Shraavan in the Hindu Calendar and the holy month of Ramadan, along with the forthcoming Ganesh Chaturthi & Navartri make for excellent opportunities to taste different foods during fasting (upvaas / vrat ka khana)..

As St.Augustine said :
"Fasting cleanses the soul, raises the mind, subjects one’s flesh to the spirit, renders the heart contrite and humble, scatters the clouds of concupiscence, quenches the fire of lust, and kindles the true light of chastity. Enter again into yourself."--Saint Augustine (354-430 A.D.; "On Prayer and Fasting," Sermon lxxii; Doctor of the Catholic Church)

So, don your thinking caps, and do send in your signature dishes for fasting - some delicious options that quickly come to my mind are : Arisi Upma, Anjeer Barfi, Date Rolls, Rajgire ka Puri , Suran Sabji, Kachcha Kela ka bajji, Sabudana Khichdi etc :-) Even some kheers are specially made during fasts. While abstinence from Onion and Garlic is predominantly seen in South Indian kitchens during fasts and Ekadashi (11th day of the fortnight in the Hindu Calendar), some ingredients like Rajgira, sweet potatoes, potatoes, yam are favoured ingredients for dishes made during fasts in North, East and Western India.

If you are interested to know some more details on why fast, how different communities approach fasting, do read the note sourced from at the end of this post. Some tips on correct way to fast are also posted here.

This event is on from 13th Aug - 30th Sep. Some guidelines on how to send in your entries:

a) Only Vegetarian dishes allowed. No eggs or non-veg please.
b) Saatvic ingredients sans onion / garlic may be used.
c) Dishes can be for appetiser / snack / breakfast / lunch / dinner / dessert - basically any course.
d) Send new entries posted between 13th Aug and 30th Sep only. Upto 2 archived entries (reposted with a link to this announcement) are allowed.
e) Link to this announcement is mandatory and all entries should be mailed to me on or before 30th Sep 2011 end of day (local time) along with a picture of the dish (upto 300 pixel). My Email ID is and do please indicate subject of the mail as : "Foods for fasting - Vrat Ka Khaana"
f) Would highly appreciate if the logo is used.

UPDATE : I am adding a linky tool below to add in your entries .. However, I would still urge you to mail me too : momchef77 AT gmail DOT com 

Looking forward to a highly responsive event , like always :) Appreciate your time !

To quote,

"Fasting in Islam, observed during the holy month of Ramazan, is far more rigorous. During this 29 / 30-day period, taking even a drop of water between sunrise and sunset is forbidden. At sunset, the fast is broken with the consumption of dates and other fruits. By fasting, the believer proclaims the nobility of the Most High, prostrates before Him and asks forgiveness for sins. It is a process of purification, physical, emotional and mental, and is accompanied by pursuing good thoughts, good words and good deeds. In India, fasting has always had deep spiritual and religious overtones. Almost every festival involves some sort of fasting, while spiritual adepts of all traditions abide by the code of moderate or no eating.

For Indians, fasting is also prompted by the seasons and time of day, the solar and lunar cycles. In this regard, fasting encourages the maintenance of the body's equilibrium with that of the larger forces of life.Among the
Jains it is customary to eat lightly in the morning and reserve their main meal for noontime, for it is believed that the biological clock works best with the sun. For the same reason, they have their evening meal before sunset. The 8th and 14th day of the lunar moon, when the gravitational effects of the sun and moon are at their peak, are also observed as fast days. The Jains also observe a four-month fast, Chaturmas, during which the use of tamasic (non-vegetarian, deep fried, stale, hot etc) foods like garlic and onion, and even certain vegetables are disallowed.

Both in the South and in Maharashtra, in India, Ekadashi, the 11th day of the lunar moon, is observed as a fast day. In Maharashtra, the Chaturthi, 4th day of the lunar moon, is also a fast day. However, fasting among
Hindus and Jains, unlike in Islam or Christianity, does not always mean zero consumption. Often it takes the form of abstinence, when certain foods are forbidden, and only a restricted variety permissible. Fasts connected with the festivals of certain deities, such as Gokulashtami (for Lord Krishna) and Mahashivratri (for Lord Shiva), are broken with revelry and feasting in the evening.Fasting, by abstaining from non-vegetarian or tamasic foods, is also observed during the month of Shravan (the peak of the rainy season) because digestion is considered sluggish during the rains. Because of the dietary restrictions imposed by fasts and their frequency, a whole cuisine of fasting food has emerged, particularly in the Indian state of Maharashtra, employing the use of items like varai, sago, potatoes, peanuts and rajgeera. Cereals are strictly forbidden, but the sumptuous delicacies offered in their place (for some reason, most fasting foods are rich and redolent with clarified butter, milk, etc) actually makes the fast a feast!"

August 12, 2011

Semiya Payasam ~ Vermicilli Kheer ...and Varamahalakshmi Pooja

Today is Varamahalakshmi Pooja - the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi is worshipped for granting health, wealth, prosperity for the family. (Vara = boon) .. We don't follow the vratham in our house, but I definitely do the pooja and present the naivedyam to Goddess Lakshmi. For those interested on the Varamahalakshmi Pooja procedures, do check out this link . Semiya Payasam (Sevai / Vermicilli Kheer) was the naivedyam to the Goddess and I pray for the prosperity of all my friends and relatives across the globe including you readers and fellow bloggers . May Goddess shower you with all best wishes this day and the year through.

August 11, 2011

Healthy Carrot Paneer Bonda ~ Carrots and Cottage cheese shallow fried fritters

Bonda and no fry ? Bonda and healthy ? I must be kidding right ? Nope – this version of healthy veggie bonda is sure to be a hit in your family too as they were in mine. Looking forward to using the panner in the pantry in a healthy dish, I experimented with this method of using a Kuzhi paniyaaram device and it turned out to be drroooolworthy , even by my the standards of my biggest food critic - mom :) !
Now who can resist bondas , right ? And having been on the healthy-eating wave for some time now, I am happy I have discovered this method of satiating a deep rooted craving for monsoon – favouring foods : the low cal way ! Lets walk oevr to this recipe for Healthy Carrot - Panner Bonda
J Do try it out friends and let me know how you liked it !

Round up of My Mother's Kitchen - Indian Mithai Mela - part 1

After the success of My Mother's Kitchen - 1 (One Pot Meals), I had invited entries to one of the permanent fixtures in any Indian meal : Mithai / Indian sweets !! And boy, was I innindated with entries or what !!  60 + entries and counting !! Thank you for the overwhelming response, dearies :-) I truly appreciate your taking time off to respond.  
It has been wonderful to receive a cartload of Indian sweets from across the globe. Truly proves that the repertoire of Indian Sweets is expansive and popular..

I have divided this round up into two parts and shall be publishing them in tandem. I have included ALL the entries that were posted with a backlink to this announcement, which was mandatory. Do feel free to drop me a line at in case your entry has gone inadvertently gone awry . I shall update the same asap. In case you have sent your entries, but have not linked it back, please do so to be included in the 2nd part of this round up !

Thanks again, and hope you enjoy this one-stop shop Indian Mithai Mela for the festive season ahead :) 

Am sure you would also participate more enthusiastically in my ongoing event - Healthy Lunchbox Ideas - Carrots - ending 31st Aug. Do watch this space for some more exciting events coming your way !!


Arranged in order of receipt, we have - for Part 1 of the round up !


  • Vardhini celebrates her 100th blog post with this awesome mysore Pak and also sends in Pal Payasam - a south Indian treat


  • Neha's Atte ka halwa is sure a foodie's delight while keeping it healthy with Whole wheat flour
  • Aarthi kicks off her new blog on a sweet note with this delectable Badam Halwa
  • Jayashree's Rava Besan laddu is another twist to the usual Besan laddu or Rava Laddu - the combo looks heavenly.
  • Nirmala's Dry fruit Poli is another twist to the usual Poli - looks very healthy too :)


  • Anu has sent in this deliciously healthy Date and Nut Rounds along with telling us the nutritious importance of dates
  • R & R of Tadka pasta have this devilishly intriguing Fudge Brownie for us
  • Sudha's entry  - Jackfruit halwa had me definitely drooling
  • Deeksha's Carrot burfi is loaded with beta carotene and I am all game to make this soon !

  • From my own kitchen, comes these 8 delicacies :

Cashew Coconut Barfi

Til ka Ladoo ~ Sesame Jaggery Roundels

Moong Dal Kheer ~ Paitham Paruppu Payasam 

Moong Dal Sheera / Moong Dal Halwa / Split yellow Gram sweet pudding

Quick Sweet Rice Pudding

Badam Halwa (Almond Halwa)

Pal Payasam

Akkaravadisal for Aadi Pooram



Thanks for being part of Indian Mithai Mela :)
Watch this space for Part 2 of this round up !

August 9, 2011

Fat free Wholewheat Vegan Choco Coconut Muffins

I bet the title confused you enough ! Is it Chocolatey ? Fruity ? Fat free ? Vegan ? Wholewheat ? Yes ! It's all of these, and is completely guilt free and one that contains Oats too !! Adapated from this recipe by Harini, it also gave me an opportunity to make Applesauce at home - Applesauce was like an enigma to me for quite some time, as was Cider Vinegar. Thanks to Harini for the inspiration to make this recipe. I omitted ginger powder, tea decocotion from the original recipe and substituted white sugar with brown while adding a ripe banana instead of pineapples. Also used cupcake moulds rather than ramekins, and the end product was still wonderfully smelling of cocoa-nutty flavour.
And also thanks to my blogger friends, some of who are quite conscious about avoiding deep fry / refined flour / butter in cooking, I was determined to use Applesauce in my next baking sojourn. So, there it was, home made applesauce (process here) added to my muffins along with some nutty Olive Oil and dessicated coconut, and it made the perfect tea time treat, not to forget a great option for kiddo's breaktime snack too :-)

Knowing the chocoholics at home, I added a dash of cinnamon and cocoa powder along with 1/2 tsp of drinking chocolate (fat free versions) and I was in seventh heaven just smelling the aromas from the oven :-) Tasting them with family post dinner (that's when I got to eat them) seemed to be the perfect craving for my otherwise dormant sweet tooth.

This goes to Priya's Bookmarked recipes

Also to Monika's WWC - Oats for Baking  started by Sanjeetha

Prep time : 10 mins. Cooking time : 17-20 mins. Makes : 10 muffins / Cupcakes


Dry ingredients:
Wholewheat flour - 1.5 cups
Oats - 1.5 cups (I used Quakers rolled)
Sugar - 3/4 cup (you may use white / brown, but I used Demerra sugar)
Cocoa powder - 1/2 TBSP
salt - 1/4 tsp
Baking soda - 1/4 tsp
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Drinking chocolate powder - 2 tsp (opt) - you could also substitute with choco chips
Dessicated coconut - 1/4 cup (may be a little more)

Cherries for glazing

Wet Ingredients:
Home made applesauce - about 1/2 cup (approx)
Apple cider vinegar - 1 tsp
Pureed Banana - 1/4 cup
Vanilla Essence - 1/4 tsp (opt) -I didnt add it.

1) Sift the all dry ingredients except Oats twice . Powder the Oats coarsely and add it in and mix well. Preheat oven to 175 deg C.

2) Mix the wet ingredients in a large bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well. Do not over beat.
3) Lightly grease the ramekins or muffin cups (with olive oiled fingers) and spoon in the batter uniformly. Top with remaining dessicated coconut and bake at 175 for 18 mins. Then lower the temp to 155 and bake for further 3 - 4 mins till fully done.
4) Top with glazed cherries and /or whipped cream , and bite into a guilt free sinfully sweet delight !

August 6, 2011

Spicy Bhajias , and relishing the monsoon ~ Mixed veggie fritters

What's monsoon without Pakoras / Bhajiyas (deep fried fritters), I wondered ?.. So, while the rest of the globe goes through a summer, most parts of India experience monsoon during June - Sep, which is actually the seeds sowing season for the farmers , and hot snacks and munches for those of us who dont have to till the spoil(well, literally). Its every foodie's delight and childhood memory also , perhaps to have savoured hot steaming and spicy bhajias in every household / food cart and we didnt want to miss out on that joy :-) Which is exactly why we actioned out making these spicy fritters this late afternoon

So, mom and me (who were incidentally celebrating a long weekend ALL by ourselves, having packed kiddo and S out) , decided to indulge in some treats , and the unanimous decision was for a mixed bhajia platter. An occassional indulgence is worth the wait, and this time we didnt even wait to add the ketchup (or make any green chutney) - off the pan it went into hungry and eager mouths, accompanied by steaming cups of green tea / milk tea respectively for me and mom :-) Pure bliss !!

Sending this to Krithi's event : Serve it Fried and Denny's announcement and also to Sukanya's Monsoon Medley

You might also enjoy these monsoon treats :

Fried Moong Dal | Tasty Snacks (Haldiram Style)

Masala Murmura

Mirchi Bajji / Menasinakaayi Bajji / Molaga Bajji

Prep time : 10 mins. Cooking / Frying time : 15 mins. Serves : More calories than your waistline can take :-). The following ingredients makes 10 - 15 medium sized bhajiyas.

Besan / gram flour - 1/2 cup
Rice flour - 4 TBSP
Salt - to taste
Turmeric - 1 tsp
Asafoetida / hing - a pinch
Ajwain / carrom seeds - 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Green chillies (minced) - 1 or 2 (opt)
Veggies - sliced in the size of more than a wafer thickness
(You may use potatoes , onions , capsicum, chow chow, brinjal , raw banana - or a combo of these too - ensure uniform thickness of all veggies)
Oil - to deep fry
1) Sieve besan and rice flour well together in a bowl.
2) Heat the oil in a deep bottomed pan.
3) Add salt, turmeric, ajwain, asafoetida and chilli powder (and chillies if using) to the dry flours and mix well.
4) Add 2 -3 TBSP of the hot oil to the dry flours and mix well. Add water little by little to make it a dropping consistency (refer the pictures in my earlier post  - Mirchi bhajji)
5) Dunk the sliced veggies in the batter and slide them into the hot (but not smoking) oil
6) Flip the bhajias / fritters on both sides till a golden colour is seen
7) Drain on a paper towel and serve hot with ketchup / green chutney (we couldn't wait that long :D)

August 5, 2011

Round up of Dish it out with Mushrooms and Onions

One of the best things of hosting an online food blog event is that one gets to visually savour scrumptious delights from across the world. This time too, it wasnt different : I was hosting Vardhini's Dish it Out Series with Mushrooms and Onions. I am picky when it comes to Mushroom, and its not my personal choice of veggie, but lots of people around the world, including S and kiddo simply adore it - from pizzas to soups to stir fry to appetisers, its quite a versatile veggie, and I have started including it more often to appease the people I cook for :-)

Now, this round up with an amazing spread of 30 mushroom dishes is sure to please mushroom eaters and also pose an interesting array to those who have started cooking with this veggie ..  Thanks to all my foodie friends who sent in their delicious dishes over- it is (virtually) raining mushrooms here :D. Hope you enjoy this round up as much as I did hosting this event !

If someone's entry has been inadvertently missed out or linked in erroneously, please do write in and I shall update ASAP !

Looking forward to more such dishes to my ongoing event - Healthy Lunchbox Ideas(Carrot themed dishes) - all this August @ my blog.  Watch this space for more exciting events and roundup of the to-be concluded Indian Mithai Mela that ends 8th August - do pass me your Indian Sweets to this sinfully sweet event.


Arranged In order of receipt, we have this round up here:

August 4, 2011

Keerai Masiyal ~ Greens and lentil curry

One of the ingredients most kids (and adults too) love to hate is Greens (Keerai in Tamil, Soppu in Kannada, Koora in Telugu). Although loaded in vitamins and low in carbs, somehow it takes a herculean task to get people, and kids in particular to get to eat greens .Spinach was marketed excellently by Popeye for ages in the West, and wish moms today had the energy to do likewise. Today's dish Keerai Masiyal is a breeze to make, healthy, loaded with vitamins and added proteins (from the lentils) and is versatile- add to this some more vegetables (peas / beans / sprouts / carrots / garlic / onions etc) to make it a wholesome meal by itself, all disguised with super healthy add-ons :-). Shall we proceed to the recipe then ??

August 3, 2011

Bharwa Bhindi (Jain Style) ~ Stuffed Lady's finger - a picto tutorial

Its wonderful to push oneself into challenges  - esp in the food blogger's world, where each foodie wants to be heard, present and do the in-thing these days : Social Networking ! Great to be part of the new event : Blog Hop Wednesdays created by my dear friend Radhika, whom most of us know runs this amazing blog - Tickling Palates.

Paired with a new blogger every round, we pick and choose a recipe that we replicate from that blog and showcase it every alternate wednesday . Paired with Monica this round, I have Bharwa Bhindi from her blog that I tweaked lightly. This is a great combo with Rotis, so this goes to Radhika's other event - Subjis for Rotis. We had this dish with steaming rotis and hingwali Mili Jhuli dal for a super light and refreshing meal. This dish works best with very tender and fresh lady's finger.

Savour the wonderful dishes served by my friends from Bloghop Wednesdays here

Before we proceed, do also check out a new event at my blog  all this August - Healthy Lunchbox Ideas - Theme : Carrot. Would love to have your dishes over to this event :)

August 2, 2011

Akkaravadisal for Aadi Pooram and a New event Announcement - HLI (Carrot)

This is a rather long post covering two agendas : A festive celebration dish as well announcement of my new event for August - Healthy Lunchbox Ideas . Let's get on with the dish first:

Today is Aadi Pooram (or in correct Iyengar lingo : Thiru Aadi Pooram) - a festival to celebrate the power of Shakti in most South Indian, esp Iyer / Iyengar households in the holy month of Aadi (or Aashaad) in the Hindu Calendar .. Its also called Andal Thirunaal (or the birthday of Andal - she is a semi-god amongst pantheon of South Indian Gods ) - you can check out more details here. Although, I am a God fearing person, I generally don't attibute to too much religious fervour (esp those of the favour-asking-type poojas), but this time around, I was in the mood to re-visit my childhood days. Perhaps I am growing old - too fast, too soon ;-) ??!!

August 1, 2011

Tofu-Capsicum Grilled Sandwich

Sunday evenings are a great time to experiment with new food, and with the rains washing out all our evening sojourns, it was rather the best thing to do. We usually end up with Paneer + roti for Sunday evenings, but my pantry didnt have any - so I was planning to use the next best thing : Tofu. But kiddo and S didnt want roti / rice : Something filling, healthy and non fussy was the order to me ("mom chef") as they munched on Taco shells with cheesy dips while continuing their board of Chess :-) I personally don't like Tofu (unless its disguised) - perhaps its an acquired taste, very much like Mushrooms (another veggie that I pick out from my dish to kiddo's / S')

But I decided to be brave and experiment with this, nonetheless and made this awesome Tofu Capsicum Grilled Sandwich with Cream of Broccoli Soup for dinner to great reviews from all in the family :-) So, that gives me two things : I can eat Tofu, and it's a new addition to my sandwich repertoire - just like my recent experiment Feta n Carrot Grill !  The crispy Tofu Veg masala sandwich went very well with the soothing Cream of Broccoli soup which is another family favourite, and for once I thanked the rains for (inadvertently) helping me experiment with a new ingredient.

Sending this to Vardhini's Fast food not fat food, started by Priya and Krithi's event : Serve it Grilled 

Prep time : 20 mins. Grilling time : 5 - 8 mins per sandwich.

  • Tofu - 150 gm
  • Capsicum - 100 gm
  • Onions - large 2
  • Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Dried herbs: Rec chilli flakes,Rosemary ,basil - 1/4 tsp each
  • Carrot - 1 large
  • Salt - to taste
  • Olive oil - 1 tsp
  • Bread slices - 8 to 10
  • Low fat butter / ghee - 2 tsp (for bread slices)

1) Grate tofu and carrots separately using a cheese shredder.
2) Heat oil in a non stick pan. Fry onions, capsicum. Add salt. Cook and cover for 5 mins till onions are 3/4 done.
3) Add grated carrots, cumin powder and stir well.
4) Add grated tofu and stor again on very low heat (lest it will stick to the pan, and burn)
5) Turn off the stove, add the dried herbs and stir lightly once more. Cool this mixture.
6) Butter the bread slices. Apply 3 TBSP of this tofu capsicum mixture as a thick layer. Cover with another buttered slice.
7) Grill for 5 - 6 mins or till done.
8) Serve with any hot soup or salad !

July 29, 2011

Zero Oil Dal Khichdi, and a fortnight of Blogging Marathon ...

Mention khichdi and in most it cases results in noses wrinkled up and giving the "am-i-sick-to-eat-khichdi ?" look .. It has happened to me soo many times, but once you eat a spoonful of this Zero Oil Dal Khichdi, it appears as if the tantrums were baseless. This morning got me browsing through Sanjeev Kapoor's No Oil Cooking, and there it was : a light but healthy Dal Khichdi.
 Totally fat free, loaded with proteins and goodness of vegetables, this is a treat both to the senses as well as to the stomach. Just have it with plain curd / roasted papad, and you are good to go for hours ! I tweaked the recipe by adding some mixed vegetable sambhar from the previous night, and this is a super healthy way to clean your refrigerator with useable food as well as a quick meal to put together when you are pressed for time, not to mention a One Pot meal loaded with goodness.

July 28, 2011

Spicy Corn Chaat

The torrential rains in Mumbai, and the resulting water logging made commuting by road a nightmare - honking motorists, unfinished bridges and piles of concrete lying in the roadside - all contributing to anger snarls and a continual fight for space on Mumbai's rather wide roads : an all too familiar sight in India, perhaps? 

July 27, 2011

Til ka Ladoo ~ Sesame Jaggery Roundels

Til Ka Ladoo (Sesame Jaggery Roundels) aka Ellu Urundai (Tamil) / Ellu Unde (Kannada) is something that most households make - I asked mom to make some sweet , but with no sugar / oil ! Mom looked at me and said she would make Til Ka Ladoo mix but I would have to shape them into ladoos.. Now, shaping ladoos is something I have never done (yes, I am not into that : I am more a halwa / sheera / kheer person!), but I reluctantly agreed. So she got the mix ready and I started shaping them - 9 of what I thought would be ladoos disintegrated right in front of my eyes, while mom was looking on - an amusedly wicked smile spreading across her face : I looked at her for some help while she looked the other way !

July 26, 2011

Paneer Potato Curry ~ Cottage cheese and Potato curry

What would be life without Paneer, I often wonder - a versatile ingredient that lends itself to soooo many dishes, without hogging the limelight itself ! Almost absent, yet present .. wondering if I continue thus, I might end writing an ode to Paneer :-) (chuckle!).

Today's dish  - Paneer Potato Curry came out beautifully, ably referenced with Nita Mehta's book - More Paneer dishes , and is an entry post to Blogging Marathon's Day 4 under the theme "Cookbook Recipes". I slightly modified the recipe by adding potatoes and it came out wonderfully along with Phulkas for dinner..

See what my fellow marathoners are upto here.

Also sending this to :

Priya's bookmarked recipes, Radhika's Subjis for Rotis along with my own event - Healthy Lunchbox Ideas - Paneer hosted by Jayashree.

July 25, 2011

Mysore Rasam

Continuing my series of Cookbook recipes for Blogging Marathon, I present from the book “Samaithu Paar  an evergreen classic – Mysore Rasam. Rasam by itself needs no introduction – it’s a comfort food, a staple in South Indian homes, and is part of any South Indian Thali worldwide. Rasam can be loosely translated as a broth, mildly spiced with just a hint of tamarind and  with or without cooked lentils (toor dal mainly).

July 24, 2011

Eggless Butterless Chocolate Cake with Oats

My quest for "Cookbook Recipes" under Blogging Marathon's theme this week led to my old, and probably forgotten recipe book that came with my Electrolux microwave - frankly, I dont bake in my microwave and prefer the OTG, but this chocolate cake recipe caught my eye, however it contained both egg and butter. But I kinda tweaked the recipe a bit and came up with this amazing Eggless Butterless Chocolate Cake with Oats.

July 23, 2011

Kariveppalai Thogayal ~ Tangy Curry leaf Chutney

One of the main sources of recipes till I married and moved cities was of course mom's recipes or some basic recipes cut out from magazines. Until I discovered there was a difference between sambhar and kozhambu (some terms that we used interchangeably back home, in a Mysore influenced Kannada-tamil cuisine at home, but not in my newly married home) !! It was harakiri to call Kozhambu as Sambhar or vice versa, I discovered in my Tamilnadu-palate seeking inlaws'. Mom was still 1200 kms away, and a long distance call wasn't always possible, so I looked around and by then Google was lifeline for me :-) But the net wasn't always on, especially while you cooked ! So, on a few friends' reco, hopped on to the nearest South Indian Store in Matunga and picked up Meenakshi Ammal's Samaithu Par - a treasure trove of South Indian Cooking.

July 22, 2011

Baked Tacos with Minty Tomato Salsa Dip

Today's the last day of Blogging Marathon under Combo Meals category before I move on to another exciting theme starting tomorrow. The seemingly never ending rains had us indoors for most of this week, and wanted to prepare something to pep up our spirits (not literally though :) LOL !!) .. So, this evening, quickly rustled up this exciting Baked Tacos with Minty Tomato Salsa which excited kiddo to no end as a super duper combo meal (or snack if your please)
Of course, kiddo wanted cheesy dip to go with this, but I guess I had run out of patience by then.. You can of course refer to the very cheesy and melt-in-your-mouth dip here that I had earlier served with Baked and roasted Baby Potatoes. .Ummmmm... I had used store bought tortillas which I baked in an oven here, but you can make your own tortillas any time ! Spanish Cuisine I think is very close to Indian cuisine in terms of spice and tomatoes, and I guess I should endeavour more of this often :) This dish today is a superb appetiser that you can serve at any party too !

July 21, 2011

Baked Stuffed Bellpepper ~ Bharwa Shimla Mirch

 I LOVE capsicum / bell pepper in any form - tossed, fried, stir fried, curries, gravy, bajjis/ pakoras :-) S often remarks that my grocery shopping is incomplete without buying bell peppers, and I am happy to have passed on the infectious enthusiasm to kiddo too :) Last eve saw two bell peppers looking at me to be used up, and frankly I was in a mood to experiment, but on a low cal format. So, made this dish that I have been wanting to make for a longgggg time  - Baked Stuffed Bell Pepper or in aam-aadmi language, Bharwa Shimla Mirch.
 I distinctly remember having been introduced to this dish along with Stuffed Tomato by my dad at a restaurant called Samrat in Bangalore's Race Course Road, many many decades ago, when eating out was considered a luxury. Instead of using a lot of potato, i substituted some of them with sproutsed moong, and it definitely turned out healthy and light too - I made these with halved bell peppers as they were big, but would be great if you can use whole mini bell peppers.  We had these with Yellow Dal  and Phulkas, but am sure it would be a superb combo with naans / khulchas. The fact that it was baked added to the taste and it was refreshingly comforting.

Sending this to : Vatsala's LGSS event, blogging marathon Day 6 , Radhika's Subzis for Rotis as well as Harini's Only baked started by Pari

 See what my friends from Marathon here.

Prep time : 20 mins. Baking time : 20 mins. Serves : 3-4


  • Bell pepper / Capsicum / Shimla Mirch - 2 large or 4 to 8 mini ones
  • Boiled Potato - 2 large
  • Onions - 1 large - minced (opt)
  • Moong Sprouts / Green gram sprouts - 1 cup
  • Salt to taste
  • Olive Oil / any low fat oil - 2 tbsp
  • Coriander and curry leaves
  • Cumin  seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Shahjeera / Caraway seeds - a pinch
  • Green chillies - chopped fine - 2
  • Black pepper powder - 1/4 tsp (opt)
  • Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
  • Dry masala powders - each 3/4 tsp : Cumin powder, Garam Masala, Kitchen King Masala, Dhaniya Powder (Coriander powder)
  • Panner grated - 3 TBSP (opt)


1) Boil, peel and grate potato . Boil moong dal for 10 minutes simultaneously.. Mix both these and add the dry masala powders, coriander, green chillies, shahjeera, black pepper powder, turmeric, salt. Mix and keep aside.
2) In a pan, add 1 TBSP oil and fry onions till brown . Add to the above mixture and mix again.
3) Meanwhile preheat oven to 210 C and scoop out and de-seed the bell peppers.
4) Lightly grease the insides and outer skin of bell pepper with oiled fingers - this is optional but helps the masala stick to the insides well, without running.
5) Stuff about 1 - 2 TBSP of the masala inside the scooped out bell peppers.
6) Line a square baking tray with foil. Bake at 210 C for 18- 20 minutes till the outer skin slightly shrivels (time depends on the size and quantity of bell peppers).
7) Remove from oven once done. Sprinkle grated paneer (or cheese) while its still hot, and serve with Rotis / Phulkas and Yellow Dal / Hingwali Dal for a complete meal.
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