Thursday, February 28, 2013

Chow chow Poriyal/ Chayote Curry

          Chow Chow or Chayote is a pear like light green vegetable, very commonly used in South Indian cooking. It's a native of Mexico (Wikipedia says so) and I think it's also used in other Asian cuisines, since I used to find them in the Chinese and Korean grocery stores, back in the US. Today's poriyal is a very simple one. Mostly this vegetable is used in sambars and kootus, but very rarely seen as a poriyal. I started making this, only by chance, had nothing else in the refrigerator except for a couple of chayotes, so tried it out this way, it tastes really good and gets done in no time. This poriyal goes very well both as a side dish to rice and dal and with rotis too. In fact, I like this vegetable, cooked as this poriyal, than in a kootu..
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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Hershey's " Perfectly Chocolate " Chocolate Cake - Eggless

           Today is Feb 27th, the day we are supposed to reveal this month's challenge in the Eggless Baking Group, usually Gayathri would have posted by now, but today I didn't see her post yet, so I double checked again whether it is the day. Well, " Perfectly Chocolate " Chocolate Cake from Hershey's Kitchen was the challenge chosen for this month. The main ingredient is Hershey's Cocoa, which I had with me, this cake is definitely for chocolate lovers, it's in and out, all chocolate, my daughter simply loved it. The best part was the frosting, couldn't help myself licking my fingers (well I washed them before touching anything again). I have used a simple technique to do the frosting which doesn't require any cake decorating skills or gadgets, but still gives the finished look. Here's to all the chocolate lovers out there..
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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Grilled Corn Salad

          Everybody at home likes fresh corn, so when I see them in the market, can't resist myself from picking some. I usually boil it or grill it directly on stove top, both ways they taste very good. But the problem with corn on the cob, is the fiber that gets stuck in the tooth and if you are wearing braces, then it's a big 'No'. So I thought of using the grilled corn in a salad along with other vegetables and made a mint-ginger dressing to go with it. It turned out really good, you can also add some cooked pasta to it and make it a complete meal..
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Monday, February 25, 2013

Cabbage And Capsicum Parathas/ Stuffed Flatbreads

          Weekend lunches are always special, if it's rice, then it'll be some kind of pilaf or briyani, or some special curry or side dish that usually takes a little more work. If it's not rice, then it's some kind of parathas, I prefer these very much, for one reason, since the parathas themselves have a nice filling, the side dish can be very simple, sometimes just plain curd and pickle. The other reason being, I need not worry about my daughter eating her vegetables, the parathas have them already, and she likes them this way. For this Capsicum And Cabbage Parathas, I have sauteed both the vegetables together, and I have used roasted chana dal powder to bind them, at the same time, adding some protein to the dish. I have rolled out the parathas a little differently, they tasted good with just plain curd and pickle or even with  Tomato Thokku..
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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Senaikizhangu Varuval/ Elephant Yam Roast

          Elephant Yam/ Senaikizhangu, sort of an expensive  and rare vegetable when I was back in the US, but now in India, it's available in plenty. I haven't tried many recipes with this vegetable, except for this roast and a masiyal, both my mother's recipes. I love both the dishes, not too many ingredients, very simple but very tasty. This particular roast tastes best when eaten hot, my mom usually made it just before we started eating, it goes so well with rice and dal. We can make it ahead, then warm it in the oven, just before serving, not that it tastes bad when it turns cold, but it loses the crispiness, try it, you'll love it..
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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Baingan Ka Salan/ Eggplant Curry With Peanuts And Sesame

         Couple of weeks ago, my parents had come and stayed with me for a few days. My father likes my cooking and I had made this Baingan Ka Salan/ Eggplant/ Brinjal curry one day to go with a pilaf. He liked it so much and even asked my mom to note down the recipe. The eggplants are cooked in a rich and spicy peanut and sesame seeds gravy and it tastes really good. Though this dish is traditionally served with Briyanis, it goes equally well with rotis or naans or I can eat it with even plain toast..
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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Burger With Sauteed Zucchini And Eggplant

          When I get bored of rotis and a little tired to do something else for dinner, I usually end up making something like a wrap or a burger like this. If I am really not in a mood to do anything, then it'll be a simple sandwich with cucumber and tomatoes, otherwise I saute some vegetable and use it as a filling. Yesterday, since I had a zucchini and eggplant ( the large one), I made this simple saute with it and used it in the burger. Since my daughter is wearing braces, I used some cheese spread along with it, you can actually use this filling with some mozzarella and make a panini. It was tasty, healthy and filling..
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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Green Tomatoes And Chana Dal/ Bengal Gram

          Today has been a long day, I could sit with my blog only now. Though I had taken the resolution to schedule my posts in advance, not to stay up late, it works only for a week and then I am back to square one, I don't know when I am going to be more organized. Well, coming to today's post, Green Tomatoes With Chana Dal, I had picked up these tomatoes from my vegetable vendor, with not the slightest idea of what I am going to do with it. In fact, I think, this is the first time, I even cooked something with it. I made this dal, using bengal gram and also added some fresh coconut paste for some extra flavor, it went well with both rice and rotis..
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Monday, February 18, 2013

Minty Creamy Vegan Pasta

          My daughter loves Italian food, I send her pasta for lunch at least once a week, but since I make it in the morning in a hurry, it's mostly pasta mixed with some pasta sauce and cheese. Only when I make pasta during the weekends, that I try out something different. Though I like cheese, I try to avoid it owing to the high fat, at the same time I try to bring the creaminess using other ingredients, this Minty Creamy Pasta is one such effort and it tasted really delicious. Since mint gives such a lovely flavor to pasta I  have added it, but guess what I have used for the sauce..
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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Zucchini Chutney

          Hope everybody is having a relaxed weekend, of course many of us also have a lot of chores lined up for those two days. During the weekdays, most of the time we have some sandwich or cereal for breakfast, but on weekends I make something other than sandwich, today we had idlis for breakfast and I made this Zucchini Chutney to go with it. My daughter likes zucchini, especially she loves this chutney. If you leave out the seasonings, this chutney requires only three ingredients, and it goes very well with idlis, dosas or even with rotis..
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Friday, February 15, 2013

Strawberry Lassi/ Strawberry With Yogurt

          Few years back, strawberries were hardly seen in India, especially in Chennai, very difficult to get them. But now, I see a lot, not only in the big shops, the local vegetable vendor brings them too and they taste good too. Though we are happy to have them plain, as such, my daughter also likes to have it with some melted chocolate and we also like to have it in this lassi. It's not much of a recipe, just blending together the strawberries with yogurt and sugar..
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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu/ Lentil Balls In Tomato Coconut Gravy

          The last few days have proved to me, how much I am attached to my blog, I had lost my internet connection last Saturday and got it back just an hour back, I felt so lost without it. Though I have taken breaks from blogging, this is the first time I was forced to do it because of this internet problem, made me so sulky and irritated. Coming to today's dish, Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu, basically it's deep fried lentil balls in a tomato-coconut gravy. There are a couple of versions of this, I follow my mother's recipe, the lentil balls soaked in the gravy tastes so delicious, simply love it with some plain rice or even as a side dish for idlis, dosas or rotis, a must try dish..
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Friday, February 8, 2013

Potato And Eggplant Curry

          Most of the times when I have potatoes and eggplants/brinjals, I make separate curries with them, very rarely I do a combo with them except in a kurma. I have made this curry only a couple of times. The two vegetables pair very well, especially if you choose the right kind of eggplants and potatoes. When sauteed with some freshly ground spice powder, it turned out to be very flavorful and tasty, it's a good side dish with both rice and rotis..
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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Green Dal/ Lentils With Coriander

          Since lentils are the main source of protein in a vegetarian diet, I use it in my cooking, almost every single day, either in the form of sambars, kootus or dals. Some time back, I had jotted down this recipe from a newspaper, a very simple and easy to make dish. Green Dal, the name is because of the green color, it gets  from the coriander used in it, which along with ginger and garlic gives a wonderful flavor to the dal. This dal goes very well with plain rice or even with light pilafs or rotis..
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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Baby Corn And Green Peas Rice

          The last two days has been really hectic, what with my daughter going on a field-trip, away from me for 4 days for the first time, and my parents and sister with my little nephew at home to give me company. I barely had time to open my blog, with the little time I had, I am just posting a simple dish, Baby Corn And Peas Rice. An easy dish, yummy way of finishing up leftover rice, a tasty preparation with baby corn and fresh peas and flavored with spring onions..
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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Vazhaithandu Thayir Pachadi/ Banana Stem With Yogurt

          Vazhaithandu/ Banana Stem, this is one of the vegetables that I missed back in the US. Though we got raw bananas and banana flower, we never got this, so while visiting India, this used to be a delicacy for us. The vegetable, as such is very rich in fiber and is supposed to be good for kidney stones. I make a couple of dishes with it, one of them is this Thayir Pachadi, a very easy and healthy preparation. The cooking part is very simple, but preparing the vazhaithandu is what is more important. I have given the step by step pictures for preparing this vegetable for cooking. Try this out as part of a healthy meal when you get a chance to find this vegetable..
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Friday, February 1, 2013

Chana White Kurma/ Chickpeas White Curry

         Whenever I make kurma, I usually end up with a yellow or orange gravy, this time I wanted to make white kurma or curry. I was going to make something with chana/chickpeas, so why not Chana White Kurma. Since I needed a white gravy, I avoided turmeric, tomatoes and red chilly powder ( the coloring agents) and replaced them with green chillies and yogurt, this kurma would go well with rotis, any pilaf or briyani or even with idlis and dosas..
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