Monday, March 29, 2010

Wandering Memories

Somewhere in the middle of shaping the candies, I looked down at my fingers. I Just looked. I hear you say, so what? doesn't everyone look at their fingers...or actually hands? Yes. Well, okay. But, not everyone have memories attached to it, well..maybe or maybe not, as I do.

There we [my sister, brother & me] were, standing near the kitchen door wanting, watching. Wait,..yes definitely its 'watching' this time - watching  our mom's tender fingers wandering in the coarse, stickier, nuttier peanuts, well you get the point. She tries to shape them into perfect round candies. For some reason, our cravings for these soft, sticky candies becomes harder,  ignoring her little efforts.

Do you think we waited for our mom to shape them? Yes, No..I mean No. Cravings overcoming patience! And you know what happens. Grab a handful. Indulge in happily. Ignore mom's little angry face. Such a fragrant and delectable fellas you see. Couldn't stop eating them - then and even now. But, I do have the patience now, to shape them - just to complete my mom's work. Sweet isn't it?



  • 1 cup Peanuts
  • 1 tbsp packed jaggery[Use a mortar pestle to powder the jaggery]
[Recipe makes 8 medium sized round candies]
Dry roast the peanuts over medium-heat till lightly browned. Cool and remove the skin.

Grind the peanuts and the jaggery together in a mixi, till they form a slightly coarse mixture. Transfer and shape them into round-shaped candies.

To be noted: Do not grind it to very fine or a more coarse texture, somewhere in between coarse and fine should do. I dusted my candies with little grounded peanuts-just for photograph.


Friday, March 19, 2010

Spread a little Avocado

Sometimes life feels like more of co-ok-ing. Breakfast and lunch and dinner and snacks and finally cleaning up the mess. Everything just inside the kitchen. That completes the active part of our daily life. But do we get exhausted and tired? No, we don't. Luckily there are feelings -accomplished and satisfied to the rescue.

We spread a little love on everything that comes out from our kitchen. But wait, what about the dull and cranky mornings? Pour a bowl of cereal or spread a little butter on a steamy toast! cereal - boring, bread and butter - not again, please.

What else can go on a breakfast toast? why not spread a little super-fast, healthy and delicious 'Spread'...and spread with warm feelings? I am not talking about Philly here. Well, you will see!



  • 2 ripe Avocado scooped and mashed.
  • 3/4 cup cucumber chopped to 1/4 inch size or smaller [skin peeled]
  • 1 medium onion chopped finely
  • 1 large tomato de-seeded and chopped
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • Cayenne pepper 1/4 tsp or less(Optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste

Mix everything in a bowl and spread them over a nicely toasted bread. Can use 1/2 inch cut French bread or Italian bread slices.

Sending this recipe to Weekend Herb Blogging #225 event hosted by Health Nut. Also, sending the recipe to Think Beyond the Usual - Fruits hosted by Nithu of Nithu's Kitchen.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

'Tis the reason to be Inspired

For me, inspirations comes in all forms. Looking at a beautiful picture-I get inspired to paint. Looking at the 'seconds' needle- I get inspired to keep trying. Looking at a tempting food- huh, lets see. Do I get inspired to cook? gosh no, with no second thoughts, I would dig in right away.

But, I do get inspired to cook-looking at a tempting food picture. And that is what I did when Madhur Jaffrey talk about the delicious and healthy Moongdal Chilla in her cookbook. I liked her idea of adding lightly mashed peas to the dosa-which gave a vibrant look to the dosa. Yellow and green!

Have you read her book? I was enchanted at the start, with her perfectly pictured spoon of fresh garam masala and the reason for making them fresh, to a wide range of Indian dishes with healthier options, and finally her question in blissful ignorance-And, to end, would you care for a paan? oh.. I would, definitely!


[in Andhra its called as Pesaratu]

  • 3/4 cup Yellow Moongdal
  • 1/4 cup Frozen Green Peas
  • 1/4 cup Idli rice [can substitute with any short grain rice]
  • 1/2 tsp grated Ginger
  • 1 Red Chili
  • 1/8 tsp Baking soda(Optional)
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric
  • 1/2 Onion minched or very finely chopped
  • Coriander leaves - 2 tbsp chopped finely
  • Oil for frying
  • Salt to taste

Soak the moongdal in water for overnight or for at-least 4-5 hours, and grind adding little water to make a dosa batter.

Cook the green peas for 5-10 minutes and slightly mash it with your finger. Add the green peas, onion, salt, turmeric, baking soda and coriander leaves to the dosa batter.

Make dosas slightly thinner, than the normal dosa, to cook it evenly. And make sure to add 1/4 tsp of oil or more at the edges of dosa while cooking.

And, to end, would you care for some more interesting moongdal dosa recipes? Here are other reasons to be inspired-

Gita's Kitchen
Or rather should I say Healthy Kitchen? In her kitchen, she inspires us by making moongdal dosa with brown rice. Weight watchers, you might want to keep a close tab on her blog! Almost all her recipes are health-friendly.

Priya's Easy N Tasty recipes
Substituting rice with Oats in otherwise normal moongdal dosa-gives us an insight about her touch of creativity! With wide variety of innovative dishes from all around the world, her space is definitely one of the essential bookmark in everyone's kitchen.

Simple Indian Food
Gives us a traditional and an authentic pesaratu! A blog with almost all Indian recipes you would look out for. You name it, and she has it. Not just recipes, her blog is also a path to- hundreds of active Indian food bloggers through her blogger series.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Dedication with Love

Opening a blog to the sight of a delectable dish, with pleasurable and inspiring photograph, is definitely one of the pleasant blogging experience. With it, comes the passion for cooking and the reason for indulging in food photography.

Those simple thoughts of innovation and touches of creativity, brings an utterly incompetent dish out from your kitchen to others. And that, truly is reward-able.

This post 'Dedication with Love' comes with the feel-good love for all my lovely readers, on this special day. Dedicating this sweet treat to all the lovely bloggers, who unknowingly by their endless efforts inspired and encouraged many others to cook including me! So, herez wishing you all a very Happy Woman's Day!

Adapted the recipe from food network.

  • 4tbsp Sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups All purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 stick or 3/4 cup Unsalted Butter
  • 1/4 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/8 tsp Salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and place the rack in the center of the oven to avoid burning the shortbread.

Line the baking dish with parchment paper or grease with butter.

Cream the butter with Sugar, add the vanilla extract and mix well, add the salt and flour and mix using a hand or electric mixer for few minutes until everything is well mixed and forms a soft dough.

Press the dough onto the baking dish to about 1/4 inch thickness and bake for about 15-20 minutes depending on your oven, till its slightly brown on the edges. Remove and cool.

Caramel Layer

  • 1 can(13.9 OZ) can Nestle or another Dulce de Leche(Sweetened Condensed Milk)

Transfer the caramel to a microwave bowl and warm for about 2-3 minutes and spread evenly over the shortbread and leave it to set for about 20 minutes.

Chocolate Layer

  • 1/2 cup Semisweet Chocolate chips or any good quality chocolate - chopped
  • 1 tsp unsalted Butter

Melt the chocolate along with butter in a bowl, placed over a simmering pan of hot water, and let the chocolate melt. Once melted pour over the caramel layer and leave it to set for 10-15 minutes.

Cut with the sharp knife into equal squares, store in an air-tight container & refrigerate and definitely Enjoy!

Sending this recipe to Bake-Off event.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Mexican Spice Trail

Well, its been a week now, and things are getting back on track. A much-needed and a relaxing trip to my sister's place, made my February days shorter and sweeter! Though I didn't find time to blog, I did manage to bring home, a few exotic choice of recipes from my sister's kitchen like this cumin-flavored Enchiladas.

Living and dining in Texas, I shouldn't be blogging about the not-far exotic Mexican foods. With the flavors of Indian spices blended in spicy and bland tortillas, I couldn't stop, but rather let the Enchiladas to brighten up my blog-space.
Though making re-fried bean paste and enchilada sauce at home is not much of a work, I used store-bought Old El Paso brand re-fried beans and Enchilada Sauce for a quicker meal.
  • Enchilada Sauce - 1 10 OZ can [You can buy hot, medium or mild sauce as per taste]
  • Re-fried Beans - 3/4 cup
  • Sour Cream - 3 to 5 tbsp
  • Cud - 3 to 5 tbsp
  • Cabbage - 2 cups shredded
  • Capsicum - 1/4 cup Chopped
  • Cumin Seeds - 2 tsp
  • Onion - 1 medium sized chopped
  • Garam Masala - 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder - 1 tsp
  • Flour Tortillas - 4 medium sized
  • Water - 2 tbsp
  • Salt
  • Any Cheese - 1/2 cup shredded or more (Optional)
Bean Paste
In a Sauce pan, heat oil, splutter 1 tsp of the cumin seeds, add onions and fry till brown. Add the bean paste along with water, coriander powder, 1 tsp salt and stir over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Switch off, sprinkle with garam masala and set aside.

Cabbage Stuffing
In another pan, add oil, splutter the 1 tsp of cumin seeds, add the cabbage and capsicum and fry over medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Do not cook the cabbage completely. It should be little crispier. Set aside.
Add 1/4 tsp of salt to the Enchilada Sauce and microwave for 1 minute and set aside. If using mild or medium spicy sauce you can add chili powder if preferred.
Pan fry the whole tortilla over a medium heat, till they are lightly crispier.

Place the tortilla on a serving plate. Pour about 2tbsp of the Enchilada sauce over the each tortilla and spread.

Spoon in the re-fried bean paste diagonally. Spoon in the cabbage over the bean-paste, covering the bean-paste completely. Don't be bothered, if it gets spilled over the tortillas.

Spoon in the sour cream and sprinkle with cheese. Fold from both the edges and flip them over.

Pour about 2 to 3 tbsp of enchilada sauce over the tortilla to cover it entirely.

Top the tortilla with cheese and sour cream and microwave for just 1 minute. Remove from the oven and top it with 2tbsp of curd. Lightly mix up the sour cream, the enchilada sauce and the curd just before serving.
Place the stuffed tortillas in the baking dish with seam side up, add cheese and the 3/4 cup of enchilada sauce over the tortilla and bake in a pre-heated oven at 375F for about 20 minutes or until the cheese melts. Remove from the oven, top it with sour cream and curd, mix them lightly and serve immediately.

Also sending this recipe to Global Kadai - Burritos and Wraps event started by Cilantro and hosted by Dil Se.