Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Noodle Soup

This is another of comfort food recipe for the cold-cold winters. We love it as has the enriching nutrients of the vegetables and the great texture of the noodles. I use maggi noodles for this soup, but hakka noodles or rice noodles can also be used. Serve it hot and you have a one course healthy and delish meal ready in minutes. I make these noodles without using the maggi tastemaker masala which is included with the noodles. But if you want an Indian- spicy flavored soup, the tastemaker masala can be added to the soup.


1 cup of prepared noodles (wheat or rice noodles--I use maggi noodles without the masala)
1 medium onion
1 cup chopped vegetables (cabbage, peas, carrot, cauliflower, zucchini, corn kernels)
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon white vinegar
salt and pepper for taste
1 tablespoon oil

Slice the onions thinly. Heat oil in a pan and add the ginger and the sliced onions. Fry till the onions are light brown and well cooked. Add the chopped vegetables and cook covered for 3-4 minutes till the vegetables are soft. Cook uncovered for another 4-5 minutes, so that the vegetables are lightly browned. Add salt and pepper for taste. Mix in the noodles and add 3 cups of water or as desired. Stir in vinegar and soy sauce. Serve hot.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Dudhi na Muthia

I saw this recipe on Vani's blog. Thanks Vani for sharing this recipe:-)

I make handvo quite often, but this recipe seemed much simpler to make as there was no prior fermentation needed. It took me just 20 minutes (thanks to my food processor , it took me 2 minutes to grate the pumpkin and gourd) to make the batter and 30 more minutes for steaming. I had a small piece of lauki (bottlegourd) left, so I also added a lot of grated pumpkin and carrot. I also added chopped coriander leaves and 3 tablespoon of grated coconut while making the batter rather than as a garnish.

Serve steaming hot with Coriander-mint chutney and Chai.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Dahi Alu Papdi Chat

We both were working from home on Thursday during the week. We had some work to attend to in the morning, hence planned to work from home. Work was much faster as there were no distractions --no meetings, no gossiping with colleagues in the got the days's work pretty faster than other regular days. My husband A wanted to have chaat in the evening and hence I thought of this simple dahi alu papdi chaat. This dish does not take more than 20 minutes to make if the ingredients are on hand. I had some sweet date chutney and the coriander chutney on hand or you can find the recipe to the Green chutney here and the Date-Tamarind chutney here. All I had to do is make the papdi's and boil the potato. It is a very tasty dish and extremely simple to prepare.

8-10 Papdi ( Look here for the recipe)
2-3 potatoes
1/2 cup curd
4 tablespoon sev
1/4 teaspoon coriander powder
1/4 teaspoon jeera powder
pinch of amchur or dry mango powder
chaat masala powder
4 tablespoon finely chopped onion
2 tablespoon chopped tomato
tamarind chutney
mint chutney
4 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves

Boil the potatoes till soft. Cool them and chop them into cubes. Arrange the papdi in a bowl. Add the chopped potatoes, onion, tomato on top of the papdi. Add beaten curd as per desired. Sprinkle sev, jeera powder, coriander powder, chaat powder, amchu, tamarind chutney and mint chutney and coriander leaves on top. Serve immediately.


Papdi can be used in various chaats or can be eaten just as a snack. For a healthier version bake it instead of frying it.


3/4 cup maida or all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of pepper powder
oil for frying

Mix the maida, salt, pepper and make a stiff dough by adding little water. For a baked version add 2 tablespoon oil to the dough. Take a two-pea sized piece of dough and roll it thinly into a 2 inch diameter circle. Bake it or deep fry it in oil till crisp.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mango Rice / Kairi Rice

We would always wait for the kairi's to arrive in the market in the summer season. My favorite memories are going to the kariwalla-bhiya who used to sit on his cycle outside my college serving masala kairis. He would slice up the kairis, add a dash of his secret spice powder the kairi pieces and serve them with papdis made from flour. Me and my friends would visit him every day after college to taste his chatpata kairis. There would be a lot of activity going on in my home when the kairi season would start. My mom would make a fresh batch of Chunda or sweet mango pickle, Manglorean mango pickle, Punjabi achaar to last for the year ahead. She would als make panna and also clean and preserve many raw mangoes in boiled and salted water. We would then use these preserved mangoes to make chutney's in the winter and rainy season. We get kairis all year round at our local indian store and I make this rice very often. It is a great main course and also a great low calorie tiffin recipe.


1 raw mango or kairi
1 cup rice
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon chana dal or bengal gram
1/2 teaspoon urad dal
1 tablespoon oil
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 green chilies
2 tablespoon grated coconut (optional)
salt for taste

Cook the rice and cool it down. Salt the rice and keep it aside. Skin the raw mango and grate it. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. Once they splutter add the dals and roast till they are light brown. Add turmeric powder and slit green chillies. Fry for a minute and add grated raw mango. Cook for 5-8 minutes till the mango is soft. Once the mango cools down mix the rice well with the mango. Season with grated coconut.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

French Fries

As the winter starts to set here and it gets colder and colder day by day, I look back at wintery days of my childhood. We stayed in Bhopal for quite some time and the temperature would drop to around 3-4 degrees. The sun would set early- at around 4 or 5 pm in the noon. Cold wintery evenings would call for lot of hot, spicy and fried stuff. My mom would cook winter-special food like different bhajiyas (vegetable fritters fried with a coating of Bengal Gram flour), cutlets, omelets along with the regular traditional stuff like dosas and idlis. In these modern age, fried food means a lot of fat and extra calories! So I try to bake food rather than fry it. I make baked bhajiyas, tava-fried cutlets and french fries. Tava-frying takes only 2 tablespoon oil as compared to the cupfuls of oil needed for frying. I have never been a great fan of potato as it makes me feel sleepy and lazy. But my husband Atul loves every dish made of potato and hence I make these tava-fried- french fries very often during the weekends.
Season the fries with garlic powder, pepper, salt and chili powder and you have a batch of restaurant quality french fries made right at home. I took the photo of this dish as we were both holding the plate as Atul said " It will take you 5 more minutes to click the photo" and did not let go of the plate!

2-3 potatoes
2 tablespoon oil
salt for taste

Cut the potatoes into long stripes. Grease the tava with oil and heat it on low-medium heat. Put the potato stripes on the tava. When the are light brown on one side flip them over to the other side. Follow this step so that the stripes are light brown on all sides. Cook on low-medium heat and take care not to burn the fries. Remove from tava when cooked and lay on a kitchen paper to drain the extra oil (if any!). Sprinkle salt and pepper and serve with tomato ketchup and mustard.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Awards From Dear Blogger Friends

Supriya Nair of Cook In a Blog World has shared this award with a meme. Thanks Supriya. The following is my meme

The following is my meme:

  1. Where is ur cell phone: purse

  2. Ur hair: long

  3. ur mother: Loving

  4. Ur father: Cool

  5. Ur fav food: Anything which is healthy (Though I am always tempted by sweets n fried savories)

  6. Ur dream last night: Don't remember..will check out what's in store for today ;)

  7. Ur fav drink: Kasaya (Konkani Tea)

  8. Ur dream/goal: enjoy every moment of life

  9. Wat room u r in: Living room

  10. Ur hobby: Blogging/reading

  11. Ur fear: Insects

  12. Where do u want to be in 6 yrs: Enjoying with family

  13. Where were u last night: Home

  14. Where did u grow up: Mumbai/Bhopal/Pune/Bangalore

  15. Last thing u did: Watch TV

  16. Ur t.v: Off

  17. Ur pets: None, but plan to have one I can afford to take responsibility.

  18. Ur friends: Beautiful at heart

  19. Ur life: Memorable

  20. Ur mood: Always thinking

  21. Missing some one: Mom

  22. Vehicle: Accord

  23. Something u r not wearing: frown

  24. Ur fav store: Macy's

  25. Ur fav colour: Mauve

  26. When was the last time u laughed: Minutes ago

  27. Last time u cried: this morning when I stepped out from home into the darn, freezing col weather outside.

  28. Ur best friend: Husband

  29. One place i go over and over: Beautiful memories

  30. One person who emails me regularly: N

  31. Fav place to eat: Yana's Pune

Monday, September 7, 2009

Bitter Gourd Sabzi / Karela Sabzi

When I came to US, I was longing for home cooked meals for a few days. Everything about this place was very new to me. One of my husband's cousin had invited us over for dinner and his wife had prepared this karela sabzi. I took the recipe from her and as both I and my husband love karela, this dish features at least once a week in our menu. It is unique dish as a mixture of hot- bitter-sweet and spicy flavor can be found in this one dish. It is not a very time consuming recipe and goes fabulously with dal-chawal or kadhi-chawal.

2-3 bitter gourds
1/2 cup jaggery
1 teaspoon mustard
1 teaspoon white sesame or til
2 teaspoon poppy seeds or khus-khus
1 tablespoon raisins or kishmish
1 tablespoon broken cashew nuts
salt for taste
pinch of asafoetida
pinch of turmeric powder
3-4 fenugreek seeds
chili powder for taste

Scrape the skin off the bitter gourd and cut it into thin round circles. Apply 1 teaspoon salt and keep aside for 20 minutes. Squeeze the juice from the bitter gourds. If you want a crispier version, deep-fry the bitter gourds in oil till brown. For a healthier version, oil a pan and saute the bitter gourds on a medium flame till brown on both sides.

In another pan, heat 2 tablespoon oil and add mustard seeds. When the seeds splutter, add asafoetida and fenugreek seeds. Add the cashew nuts and saute till brown. Add sesame seeds and fry till brown. Add poppy seed, raisins and saute for a moment and mix in jaggery. Add 1/4 cup water and turmeric powser and chili powder. Get the jaggery mixture to a boil. Add the bitter gourds and mix well. Serve hot with rice.

Preparation time:40 minutes
Serves: 2

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Egg Omelet

Eggs make a great breakfast and snack item. I have fond memories of childhood when my mom would return from office at around 6 PM the evening and serve delicious egg omelets with bread as evening snacks. The tangy tomatoes, the crunchy onions in the egg omelet and the spicy Maggi tomato ketchup applied on the bread slices would make a delicious sandwich. Earlier my husband was not very fond of having eggs regularly for breakfast. Thanks to our visit to the beautiful Requa Inn and experiencing their wonderful breakfast egg preparations, scrambled eggs and omelets have become all time breakfast favorite at my home. Recently we even tried the brown organic eggs available in Costco and found them to be better than the regular white eggs.

Vani of Mysorean sent me the information about the
Show me your Omelet event and I am sending this recipe for the event hosted by Divya.

3 large eggs
4 tablespoon chopped onion
3 tablespoon chopped tomato
other optional vegetables (sauteed mushrooms, peas, spinach, corn, beans)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon chili powder or as desired
1 chopped green chili (optional)
4 tablespoons of chopped coriander leaves or cilantro or chopped parsley or chives (whatever is available on hand)
butter or oil
salt for taste

Wash and break the eggs in a bowl. Beat it with a fork, spoon or a whisk for 3-4 minutes or till they are frothy. Add rest of the ingredients except the chives(if used) and the butter. Heat a pan on medium or low heat and coat it well with butter or oil. Spread half of the omelet mixture in the pan and let it cook for 2-3 minutes till it is light brown on the bottom. Flip the omelet and let it cook on the other side till light brown spots appear. Remove the omelet on to a plate and garnish with chives. Powdered parmesan cheese can also be used as a garnish. Serve hot with toasted bread, tomato ketchup and mustard.

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Serves: 2

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Baked Handvo / Spicy Lentil Pancake / Indian Vegetable Loaf

The activity-filled long days of the summer season can make one very hungry during the early evenings. Instead of opting for the oily and spicy farsans (which everyone loves to eat !) Handvo can be a tasty snack . It can be also stored for a day or two in the refrigerator. So this has been a summer treat at my home during many good summer days. Also it is a great accomplice with Chai on cold rainy and winter days.

When I think about Handvo, I fondly remember my college friend R's mother who used to prepare this dish very often and give it to my friend in her tiffin. I loved Handvo as much as she relished my mom's dosas and idlis.My Handvo recipe includes a variety of lentils and a variety of seasonal vegetables can be added to this dish. Apart from the lentils I have also tried adding a handful of whole wheat while soaking the lentils and it has turned out very tasty. Because it is baked and not steamed it has a crispy and crunchy texture from outside and a soft flavorful texture on the inside. I am sending this recipe to the event "My Love affair with Legumes-Fifteenth Helping" hosted by Sia and Susan.


For soaking and fermentation:

1/2 cup urad dal or split and husked black gram
1/2 cup toor dal split pigeon pea
3/4 cup chana dal or split Bengal gram
1/2 cup moong dal or split and husked green gram
3 cups rice
1/2 cup ragi or black millet flour (optional)
1 teaspoon methi or fenugreek seeds
1 1/2 cup curd or 1 cup sour butter milk

3 green chilies or as per taste
1 tablespoon chopped ginger
1/2 teaspoon haldi or turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder or as per taste

2-3 cups of grated vegetables (mostly bottle gourd is used, but one can be as creative as possible ..I use which ever vegetables are on hand- cabbage, cucumber, carrot, zucchini, pumpkin, peas, spinach and fenugreek leaves. If you are using fenugreek leaves, then omit the fenugreek seeds)
1/4 cup grated or chopped coconut (optional)
1/2 bunch coriander leaves

salt for taste
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoon lemon juice

For seasoning:

pinch of asafoetida or heeng
2 tablespoon white til or
white sesame seeds
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
10-12 curry leaves or kadipatta
3 tablespoon oil

Soak the dals and rice (and wheat if using it) and methi seeds for 6-8 hours. Grind it together into a coarse paste. The batter is much coarser than the regular dosa or idli batter. Add curd or buttermilk and 1 teaspoon salt and mix well. Keep the batter aside to ferment for 6-8 hours or overnight. The batter should be kept in a warmer place to ferment. In winters, I warm the oven to around 100 degrees and keep it overnight in the warm oven.

After fermentation, mix in the vegetables, coconut, chopped coriander leaves, sugar and salt for taste. Mix in all the spices and adjust the chili and salt as per taste. Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. When they start to splutter add the asafoetida, cumin seeds. Then add the sesame seeds and curry leaves. Add the seasoning to the batter and mix well. Add the lemon juice to the baking soda and stir immediately into the batter.

Grease a baking tray and pour the batter evenly into it. Bake the handvo for 50 min to 1 hour at 350 degrees. I like a crisper version, so I bake the handvo till it is all brown on the bottom. Serve hot with coriander-mint chutney.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Papdi Sabzi / Broad Beans Stir Fry

In the summer season we find papdi vegetable in abundance at the Indian store. Both I and my husband are a great fan of papdi and gavar vegetables which are available in the summer season in Bay Area.
Goda masala can also go a long way and add extra flavor to the papdi sabzi. So if goda masala is available readily on hand, you can sprinkle a little on the sabzi. A pinch of garam masala can also make the sabzi more flavorful and spicy. This sabzi can also be made with potatoes. If you are in love with the potatoes, fry one or two chopped potatoes in the masala before adding the papdi. At my home we use papdi along with tomato and onion and various other masalas to make the sabzi. But my husband likes the stir fry with the original flavor of the papdi and a mild flavor of coriander powder. So now I have now learnt and adapted to making the stir fry version which my husband calls the Maharashtrian version as opposed to my North Indian Papdi Sabzi version!

3 cups papdi
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
Goda masala or Garam masala (optional)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
3/4 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
pinch po asafoetida
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder or desired
2 teaspoon oil

Wash and remove the ridges of the papdi. Chop the papdi into half inches pieces. Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds and when it splutters, add asafoetida. Add coriander powder, turmeric powder and chili powder. Fry for a moment and add the papdi vegetable. Add 1/2 cup water and cook for 10-15 minutes till the papdi is soft and well cooked. Sprinkle goda masala or garam masala if desired. Serve hot with rice or roti.

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Serves: 2-3

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Moong Sprouts Dosa

I found this recipe in Lakshmi's Blog - Taste Of Mysore. I had made a similar dosa with Azuki Beans also called 'Bagdo' in Konkani. So, I was very interested when I saw this recipe in Lakshmi's blog. Any pulse dosa takes a little longer than rice dosa, so it needs to be cooked for a longer time on a medium flame. I had some sprouts which I had kept aside to make salad and I used those to make this dosa during the weekend. It turned out to be a great breakfast treat. Thanks Lakshmi for sharing the recipe!