Sunday, June 29, 2014

Mysore Pak

Mysore Pak 4


Gram Flour / Besan --   2 cups
Sugar                             --   2 cups
Vegetable oil             --   1 cup
Fresh Ghee                 --   1 cup
Water                            --   ¾ cup


Grease a plate with ghee / oil and keep it ready. I used a 9inch baking pan. But its better to use a square / rectangular pan if available, so that the edge pieces are also in shape :)

Sieve the gram flour. Roast the gram flour in a heavy bottomed pan for 4 - 5 minutes or until the raw smell goes off. Sieve the flour once again and keep it aside.

Mix the oil and ghee in another thick pan and until smoking hot and then leave it on the stove at a low flame.

Mysore Pak 1

In another pan(I used the same pan, in which I roasted the flour) add sugar and water and let it boil until you get one string consistency. You can test it by leaving a drop it in a cup of cold water and that drop shouldn't dissolve. Or you can test it between your thumb and index finger and it should form a string  when you stretch out.

Once you get the consistency, add a spoon(use a big spoon, about 2 - 3 tbsp capacity. I used my dosa ladle.) oil - ghee mixture. It will start to bubble when oil is added. Simmer to a medium - low flame.

From this point onwards, do not stop stirring. It would be great if you have someone else to help. I found it really hard to keep stirring while adding flour and oil.

Slowly add the gram flour little by little and keep stirring it continuously and ensure that there are no lumps.

Add the oil - ghee mixture, one spoon at a time, while you keep stirring. Every time you add the oil, it should form bubbles and a sizzling sound. Continue this until all the oil is done.

Keep stirring continuously until mixture starts coming together, like a ball, the oil will be mostly absorbed and few bubbles starts forming on the sides of the pan.

At this stage, pour it in the greased plate and spread it evenly with the back of a spoon. You might see some oil floating on the top. Do not remove this oil.

Mysore Pak 2

Let it cool for 2 - 3 minutes, then cut with a greased knife, when it is still hot. Let it cool completely before you separate them.It continues to get cooked while cooling and that is why we see a darker shade inside and a lighter colour outside.


This is an easy and quick recipe (just takes around 15 - 20 minutes for the whole process). But the most important part is the consistency of the sugar syrup and the doneness of the mysore pak. Be careful at this stages.

If the mysore pak is less done, it will soft and will result in the consistency of milk peda. If it is over done, it will be too hard to break.

Mysore Pak 3

Recipe Courtesy: Amma & few tips from Sanjeev Kappor

Friday, June 27, 2014

Idly with Sambar

Ulli Sambar 3


Ingredients (Makes 20 – 25 idlys):

Parboiled rice / Idly rice   --    3 cup
Cooked rice                              --   ½ cup
Whole Urad dal                      --   1 cup
Fenugreek seeds                   --   1 tbsp
Salt                                              --   to taste


Wash and soak the rice for 6 - 8 hours in a closed container.

In another vessel wash and soak the urad dal and the fenugreek seeds for 6 - 8 hours in a closed container.

Drain the water from the urad dal into another vessel and grind it. Use the soaked water and water little by little to make sure you do not use excess. Grind this into a thick and VERY fine paste. Transfer this to a big container.

If using your mixer, you might have to do this in batches or pause at intervals.

Drain the water from the rice and grind it. Use the remaining water from the urad dal and once that is over, use the water in which the rice was soaked. If more water is required, use some chilled water.

Ulli Sambar

Once the rice is half done, add the cooked rice.Grind this into a fine mixture.

Add the batter to the urad dal batter and mix well. I am not sure how to explain the consistency of the batter. It should be thick for the idly to hold its shape and at the same time thin to freely flow into the idly plates.

Keep it in a warm place for 6 - 8 hours to let it ferment.

Back in India, we just had to keep it at room temperature, and my mom leaves it overnight. The batter would be fermented and ready for next day. But here, especially during winter, its hard to get the batter fermented. I preheat my oven to 200 degree Fahrenheit and switch it off. And after 10 - 15 mins, I keep the batter inside the oven and leave it overnight. This helps in fermentation.

Before it is ready to use, add salt to the batter and mix well.

Boil water in the idly pot and grease the idly plates.

Scoop the idly batter into the moulds and steam cook it for 15 - 20 minutes. Remove the plates from the pot as soon as the idlys are done. You can test it using the back of a spoon or a knife. Let it slightly cool before you unmold. Scoop out the idly using a spoon - Now you have the soft -and light idly ready for breakfast J

Ulli Sambar 2

Serve with hot sambar / chutney / chutney powder.

Ulli Sambar:

Ulli Sambar 4

Ingredients (Serves 6 - 8):

Toor dal                    --   ½ cup
Tamarind                 --    a small lime - sized ball / 1 tsp of tamarind paste.
Turmeric powder --   ¼ tsp
Shallots                    --   20 - 25 whole
Green chilies         --   2
Tomato                    --   1 medium sized, well ripen
Coriander leaves --  3 - 4 sprigs, chopped into big pieces
Salt                            --  To taste

To roast and grind:

Sambar Powder  --  1 ½ tbsp, I prefer Brahmins brand. You can also roast and grind from scratch as given here.
Garlic                      --  3 - 4 medium cloves
Curry leaves        --   1 sprig
Grated coconut  --   ½ cup

For seasoning:

Coconut oil          --   1 tbsp
Mustard seeds    --    ½ tsp
Dry red chilies    --   3


In a heavy bottomed pan, fry the coconut, curry leaves and the garlic on a low flame until the coconut becomes dark brown in colour.Switch off the flame and add the sambar powder to it and mix well. Keep aside and let it cool. Grind this into a smooth paste.

You can omit the fried coconut if you don’t want a rich gravy. For this version add more dal for a thicker gravy, if required.
Soak the tamarind in 1 cup warm water and extract its juice.

Wash the toor dal in water twice or thrice. Add the dal, peeled shallots, slit green chillies and turmeric powder to the pressure cooker and cook(2 - 3 whistles) adding enough water.

Ulli Sambar 1

When the pressure is completely released, open the cooker and mix them well. Try not to mash the onions. Add the ground mixture to the tamarind extract and add this to the cooked dal. Add more water if required.Bring it to a boil.

When it starts boiling add the cubed tomatoes.(If the tomatoes are not well ripen, add them during pressure cooking.)

Let it boil for 2 - 3 minutes.Add the chopped coriander leaves.

Heat coconut oil in a small pan.  Splutter mustard seeds and fry dry red chilies. Pour over the prepared sambar.

Ulli Sambar 5

Serve hot with idly / dosa.

Recipe Courtesy : Amma

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Vanilla Icecream–No machine

Vanilla Icecream 2

Ingredients (Serves 8 - 10):

Heavy Whipping Cream         --   2 cups
Sweetened Condensed milk  --   1 can / 14 oz
Vanilla Essence                          --   1 tsp


Chill the pan and the beater.

With an electric mixer, beat the whipping cream until it forms soft peaks.

Add the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla extract and mix until thoroughly combined.

Pour it all into a container and freeze overnight or at least 8 hours.

Serve it with some chocolate sauce or any topping.

Vanilla Icecream 1

Recipe Courtesy:

Monday, June 23, 2014

Vellarikka Pachadi

Pachadi 1

Ingredients (Serves 8 - 10):

Vellarikka/ Lemon Cucumber --  250 gms, 1 cup chopped
Green chillies           --   4  
Ginger                         --   a small piece, 1 tsp julienned
Shredded coconut --   ½ cup
Yogurt                        --   2 cups
Mustard seeds         --    1 tbsp
Curry leaves             --   4 - 5 leaves
Red chillies               --   2 nos
Oil                                 --   1 tbsp
Salt                                --   as required


Cook chopped cucumber and 2 green chillies in water along with salt.

We can also use green cucumber. We don’t need to cook that, instead just mix the chopped cucumber with salt and keep aside. Continue with the following steps.

Grind the coconut and the remaining green chillies to a fine paste and then add half the mustard seeds and crush it just pulsing in the mixer

Add this to the cooked cucumber.Let it boil and turn off the stove.


Beat the yogurt and add it to the cooled cucumber mixture and mix well.

Heat oil in a pan.Add mustard seeds and red chillies and let it splutter. Add curry leaves and saute for few seconds.

Pour the seasoning over the pachadi.

Pachadi 2

Serve with rice.

Recipe Courtesy: Amma

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Chicken Rice

Chicken Rice 3

Ingredients( Serves 3 - 4):

Chicken                     --   200gms, I used 1 breast piece
Basmati Rice           --   2 cups
Water                         --   4 cups
Onion                         --   1 medium size
Beans                          --   10 - 12
Carrot                         --   2 medium size
Green Pepper / Capsicum --   ½ of one medium size
Broccoli                     --   3 -4 florets
Turmeric Powder  --   ½ tsp + ¼ tsp
Chilly Powder         --   1 ½ tsp
Garam Masala         --   1 tsp
Black Pepper           --   1 tsp + 2 tsp
Cashew Nuts            --   8  - 10 nos
Coriander leaves   --    a bunch, finely chopped
Salt                              --   as required
Oil                                --   2 tbsp


Slice the onions. Chop the beans, carrot, green pepper and broccoli into small pieces and keep aside.

Wash and soak the rice in water. Keep aside.

Cook the chicken with salt and pepper. Shred it into small pieces and keep aside.

Heat oil in a pressure cooker.Fry the cashews and half a handful of the sliced onions until golden brown. Strain and remove it from oil keep aside for garnishing.

In the remaining oil, add the onions and salt and saute until translucent. Add the ½ tsp turmeric powder, chilly powder and the garam masala. Saute until the raw smell goes off.

Then add the chopped veggies and shredded chicken and saute for few 4 - 5 minutes. Add 4 cups of water and mix well. Let it boil.

Chicken Rice 1          Chicken Rice 2

Strain the soaked rice and add it to the vegetables & water. Mix well.

Keep it on high flame for few minutes, until the rice starts dancing on the top. Then reduce the flame to medium low and cook covered until the entire water is absorbed.

Once done, fluff the rice with a fork and garnish it with the fried cashews and onions and the remaining pepper.

Serve hot with raita or plain yogurt.

Chicken Rice 4

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Curry Leaf Chicken Curry

Curry Leaf chicken curry 6

Ingredients(Serves 5 - 6):

Chicken                     --   1 kg, cut into small pieces
Onions                       --   2 big
Ginger                        --   1 inch piece
Garlic                          --   4 - 5 large cloves
Turmeric powder  --   ¼ tsp
Chilly powder          --   ¾ tsp
Coriander powder  --   1 tbsp
Grated coconut       --   ½ cup
Tomato                       --   2 small, sliced
Fennel seeds             --   1 tsp
Cardamom                 --   1 or 2
Cinnamon                   --   a half inch piece
Cloves                          --   3
Whole black pepper --   1 tsp + more to garnish, if required
Curry leaves              --   4 sprigs
Cilantro                       --   ¼ cup, finely chopped
Salt                                --   as required
Oil                                  --   3 tbsp, I prefer coconut oil


Curry Leaf chicken curry 7


Heat 1 tbsp oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add sliced onion, julienned ginger and garlic and a little salt and saute until they are transparent. Add turmeric powder, chilly powder and coriander powder. Saute until the raw smell goes off. Add grated coconut and tomato slices. Mix well and cook covered for 3 - 4 minutes. Switch off. Once it is cooled, grind the mixture to a paste adding ¼ cup water.

   Curry Leaf chicken curry 1                    Curry Leaf chicken curry 4

Crush the fennel seeds,whole pepper, cloves, cardamom and the cinnamon sticks into a coarse powder.

Heat remaining oil in the same pan. Add the freshly crushed masala, 3 sprigs of curry leaves and saute for half a minute. Add chicken pieces and enough salt. Mix everything well and cook for few minutes, until the chicken just loses its pink colour. Then add the ground onion-tomato paste and mix well. Cover and cook for 20 - 25 minutes until chicken is cooked. Add chopped cilantro, remaining curry leaves and crushed pepper. Mix well. Switch off and let the curry remain on the stove with the lid on for few more minutes.

Curry Leaf chicken curry 2                        Curry Leaf chicken curry 3

Serve hot with porotta,appam,chapathi or any kind of bread or rice. We really enjoyed this one.

Curry Leaf chicken curry 5

Recipe Courtesy: Yummyoyummy

Monday, June 16, 2014

Beetroot–Ginger Squash

Beetroot Juice 5

Ingredients(Serves 20 - 25):

Beetroot      --   1 kg
Ginger          --   250gms
Lemon         --   6 big / 1½ cup juice extracted
Sugar            --   approximately 2 kg.
Citric Acid  --   1 tbsp


Cut/ Grate the beetroot and ginger into small pieces. Cook them in 6 cups of water until they are tender. Let it cool completely. Grind it in a mixer and strain the juice.

Measure the juice extracted in a cup and add double the amount of sugar. ie for 1 cup of juice add 2 cups of sugar.

Let it boil and once it starts boiling add the lemon juice and the citric acid.

Let it boil for 4 - 5 minutes, until the juice is slightly thick and then switch off the flame.

Let it cool completely. Pour the squash into sterilized bottles and store. Optionally, you can omit the citric acid, but you ll need to store it in the refrigerator.This can be stored for more than a year in the refrigerator.

To serve, add ¼ cup of squash into a glass and fill it with chilled water.Mix well. Add more sugar, if required.

Beetroot Juice 4

Friday, June 13, 2014


Nankhatai 1


Unsalted Butter        --   1 stick (½ cup) at room temperature
Powdered Sugar       --   ½ cup
Nutmeg Powder        --   ¼ tsp
Cardamom Powder  --   ¼ tsp
All Purpose Flour     --   1 cup
Baking Powder           --   ¼ tsp
Salt                                  --  1/8 tsp

Nankhatai 3


Preheat oven to 300 degrees F or 150 degress C.

In a mixing bowl, combine powdered sugar with the softened butter until mixture is light and creamy.Add nutmeg powder and cardamom powder and mix well.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour with baking powder and salt.Combine flour mixture with butter mixture to form a soft dough.

Wrap dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for 15-20 minutes.Knead dough once again and divide into 12 equal portions.

Roll them into a smooth ball with no cracks and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Leave enough space between each balls. You can decorate them with cashews or pistachios or almonds.

Bake on the middle rack for 22-25 minutes.

Remove from oven and let the nan khatai cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely before eating.

Store in an air tight container at room temperature.

Nankhatai 2

Recipe Courtesy: Show me the curry

Monday, June 9, 2014

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Cream Cheese Pound Cake 3


Unsalted butter    --   1½ cups (3 sticks), room temperature
Cream cheese        --   1 bar (8 ounces) , room temperature
Sugar                         --   3 cups
Eggs                           --   6 large
Vanilla extract      --   1 tsp
All-purpose flour --   3 cups
Salt                             --   2 tsp
Baking Soda            --   ¼ tsp
Baking Powder      --   1 tsp

Cream Cheese Pound Cake 1

Preparation of the pound cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.Grease two 8 ½-by-4½- by-2 ½-inch loaf pans and keep aside. (I made in one loaf pan with half the quantity.)

Sift the flour,salt, baking powder and the baking soda in a large bowl and keep aside.

Beat butter and cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add sugar; beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in vanilla. With mixer on low, add flour in three additions, beating until just combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Tap pans on work surface to eliminate any large air bubbles.

Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out almost clean, 60 to 75 minutes (if the tops begin to brown too quickly, tent with aluminum foil).

Cool 10 minutes in the pan. Turn out the cakes; cool completely, with top sides up, on a wire rack.

Cream Cheese Pound Cake 2

Recipe Courtesy: Joy of Baking

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Varutharacha Sambar


Sambar 1

Ingredients (Serves 10 - 12):

Toor dal                    --   1 cup
Hing / asafoetida  --   ¼ tsp / ¼ inch piece

Tamarind                 --    a lime - sized ball.

Turmeric powder --   ¼ tsp
Potato                       --   2 medium sized
Winter melon         --   a small piece,½ cup cubed
Carrot                       --   1 medium sized
Brinjal                       --   1 large
Drumstick               --   1
Lady's finger          --   6
Green chilies         --   2
Tomato                    --   2 medium sized, well ripen

Coriander leaves --  4 - 5 sprigs, chopped into big pieces
Salt                            --  To taste

To roast and grind:

Gingelly oil            --   1 tbsp
Fenugreek seeds --   ¼ tsp
Cumin seeds         --    ¼ tsp
Split urad dal        --   1 tsp
Coriander seeds  --   2 tsp
Whole pepper      --   ½ tsp
Dry red chilies     --  7 - 8, medium spice level, adjust the nos according to the spice level
Pearl onions         --   2 , slit
Garlic cloves        --   6 - 8 medium size cloves, with skin
Curry leaves        --   1 sprig

Grated coconut --   ½ cup

For seasoning:

Coconut oil -- 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds --  ½ tsp
Dry red chilies --  3
Curry leaves --  1 sprig

Sambar 2


Heat the gingelly oil in a skillet. Reduce the flame to low. Add all the ingredients except the coconut and roast for few minutes until they turn light brown. Make sure they are not burnt. Add the coconut at this stage and fry until the coconut is dark brown in colour. Keep stirring to fry the coconut evenly and make sure the flame is low. Keep aside and let it cool. Grind this into a smooth paste. Try not to add water, but if your mixer takes a long time, add water little by little until the mixture is smooth.
Soak the tamarind in 1 cup warm water and extract its juice.

Wash the toor dal in water twice or thrice. Add the dal, turmeric and hing to the pressure cooker and cook(2 - 3 whistles) adding enough water. If using solid hing, fry it in a tsp of oil for couple of minutes before adding it to the cooker.

Meanwhile chop the veggies; Cube the potatoes, carrots, winter melon, brinjal. Cut the drumstick into 2 inch pieces and the lady's finger into 1 inch pieces. Cube the tomatoes. Keep aside the lady's finger and the tomatoes.

When the pressure is completely released, open the cooker and add the cut veggies. First add the potatoes and when they are half cooked add the carrot, brinjal, wintermelon and drumstick. Add water if required and let it cook. This need not be pressure cooked, the veggies might get over cooked.

Meanwhile saute the lady's finger pieces in little oil until they are a bit firm.

Add salt and the fried lady's finger pieces.

Add the ground mixture to the tamarind extract and add to the sambar. Add more water if required.Bring it to a boil. When it starts boiling add the cubed tomatoes.(If the tomatoes are not well ripen, add them along with other veggies.)

Let it boil for 2 - 3 minutes.Add the chopped coriander leaves.

Heat coconut oil in a small pan.  Splutter mustard seeds and fry dry red chilies the curry leaves. Pour over the prepared sambar.

Serve hot with rice / idly / dosa.

Recipe Courtesy: Amma

Monday, June 2, 2014

Chocolate Banana Nut bread


Chocolate Banana  Nut bread 2


All Purpose Flour    --   1 ¾ cup, I have also tried with multigrain aata
Cocoa Powder           --   ¼ cup
Granulated Sugar     --   1 cup
Baking Powder          --   1 tsp
Baking Soda                --   ¼ tsp
Salt                                 --   ¼ tsp
Eggs                               --   2 large
Unsalted Butter        --   ½ cup
Ripe Bananas             --   3 Chiquita / 1 ½ cup mashed
Vanilla Extract         --   1 tsp
Chocolate Chips       --   ½ cup
Pecans                          --   ½ cup, Toasted and chopped

Chocolate Banana  Nut bread 1


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9 x 5 loaf pan.

In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients -- flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In another bowl, combine the mashed bananas, lightly beaten eggs, melted and cooled butter, and vanilla.

Fold in the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients with a spatula until just combines.Fold in the nuts and chocolate chips.

Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for about 60 - 65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let it cool on a wire rack and then remove the bread from the pan.

Serve warm or a room temperature.

Chocolate Banana  Nut bread 4

Recipe Courtesy: Joy of baking