Monday, October 30, 2006

Fish(Salmon) Gravy

Global Warming has been one topic that interests me a great deal. After increasingly hearing gloom and doom about the effects of Global Warming, today research news out of Great Britain saying there is a possibility that worst could be avoided if action is taken NOW. Stern's report: 'If we act now, we can avoid the very worst'. Hopefully world governments would put their collective heads together and work something out. The worst effects of Global Warming would be felt most by countries in Africa, India and affecting the poor the most. Lot of information here on

Now on to the recipe for the Fish Gravy. I also had a few mango pieces and remembering one Inji's Fish and Mango Curry recipe added that to the curry too. Inji glad to see your blog is back up and running but you are so quiet. Whats up? Give us an update please.

Fish Gravy
1. 6-8 fish pieces (I used Salmon filet)
2. 1 big red onion chopped in a food processor
3. 1 big tomato chopped
4. 4 garlic chopped
5. Tamarind pulp about 1/2 cup
6. 1 tbsp Vathal Kuzhambu powder
7. 1 tbsp chilly powder (want spicy add more)
8. 1/4 sour mango pieces
9. salt to taste
10. season mustard, cumin, curry leaves
11. 2 tsp oil


1. In a pan heat the oil add the seasonings, mustard last and when the mustard starts to pop add the onion and saute till soft.
2. Add the garlic, tomato and mango pieces and saute till the tomato turns mushy.
3. Add the spice powders, mix well
4. Add the fish pieces,salt and tamarind pulp and cook till the fish pieces are cooked.
5. This recipe does not require too much water.

The sour taste of the mango pieces with the spicy gravy was delicious. Serve with white rice

Carrot Kheer
This is one of those health delicious desserts you don't need a special occasion to prepare.

1. 6-8 Juicy carrots peeled and chopped
2. 2 1/2 cups Fat Free Milk
3. 6 tbsp sugar or to taste
4. 5 tbsp Nuts and raisins
6. 1 tsp ghee to fry the nuts and raisins
7. 1 cardmom powdered (optional)

1. Pressure cook the carrot pieces with the 1 1/2 cups of milk and blend the cooked carrots.
2. In a pot pour the carrot paste, sugar,cardamom powder and the rest of the milk and boil till the carrot smell is completely gone.
3. Add the frieds nuts and raisins.

Serve warm or chilled.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Spicy Corn Soup and Tortilla Chips

What do you do on a cold rainy night, long for some warm soup ofcourse with some crunch on the side. I searched for recipes of Sweet Corn Soup and found this one. I got the general idea from here and modified it a little bit. If you have one too many tortillas lying around you have the ingredients for some crunchy tortilla chips. Want to make the soup a meal by itself, that is easy too, you could follow Revathi's Chicken Barley Soup idea from here and add some barley. The nutty texture of barley will make it a hearty soup for sure.


Spicy Corn Soup
1. 1 cup of Corn kernels cooked (I cooked it in a pressure cooker)
2. 1 cup of water
3. 1/4 red onion chopped fine.
4. 1 pod garlic smashed and minced
5. 1/2 tbsp of tomato paste
6. 1 tbsp of spicy tomato ketchup (substitue with chilly or chilly garlic sauce)
7. 1 tsp pepper powder
8. salt to taste
9. 1/4 tsp ghee
10. cilantro for garnish
11. 1/2 cup cooked Barley (optional)

1. Reserve 1/4 of the corn and make the rest into a paste
2. In a pot, heat oil/ghee and saute the onions and garlic
3. Add the ground corn and the tomato paste and tomato ketchup,water and salt.
4. Boil till it starts to get thick or the consistency you desire is reached.
5. Mix the reserved corn kernels (and the barley if adding) boil for a few more minutes
6. Sprinkle the pepper powder.
7. garnish with cilantro

Torilla Chips
1. Tear the Tortilla into 8 pieces
2. Put in a toaster oven till it gets crunchy.
3. Sprinkle salt and pepper (optional)

Here it is a simple and quick soup for a cold day.

On a slightly different note, we watched "Closer" an oook kind of movie in my opinion. I now want to see "Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna" which I believe is a take off of the afore mentioned English movie want to see how Bollywood tackled this Hollywood subject.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Going Political

Save Darfur
We never learn from history. When Rwanda happened the powers be it, vowed that they would never let another genocide happen again, but it is already happening. Please visit Save Darfur to sign a petition. Every little bit we do can help.

Iraq War
What I see and hear about Iraq frankly scares me. I cannot imagine the pain and suffering the people of Iraq must be going through. I just hope the waring factions understand that it is their country and people that are bleeding. Also understanding for the families of those men and women who are fighting this senseless war.

US General Elections
Voting in some countries like Australia,Switzerland is compulsory. It should be compulsory in all democracies. Voter apathy in the US is appalling. If more people were to vote, special interests would not be able to make much of a difference. Please take the time to vote.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Happy Deepavali


"Happy Deepavali" my friends. This year has been the most festive of all the years we have celebrated Deepavali outside the country. My blog friends have made it possible. The colorful and delicious display of sweets feels like visiting friends and family to exchange sweets. Daughter has been talking about Deepavali the past week which is surprising but that is because her class is celebrating Deepavali, she is going to school in a traditional Indian dress and the class has been asked to come in Indian outfits, they are going to make rangoli, light lamps and eat sweets. I am hoping the day will not be far off when Deepavali is declared a Holiday.

Also taking a moment to thank everyone who has walked the extra mile to help others and bring happiness to those who need it the most.


Have a great Holiday!

Cashew Burfi
Thanks to Saffron Hut's Kaju Kathli recipe my family is enjoying this wonderful sweet for Deepavali.


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Kathirikkai Kara Kulambu (Spicy Brinjal Curry)

I picked a few brinjal from my plants yesterday, with the weather turning cold this early this might be the last batch that I am going to get this year. I feel sad but Oh well. I wanted to cook my favourite Kathrikkai Kulambu of which I never get tired of. This is my aunt's recipe. I have used both the long variety and the small round ones. The small round ones are the best for this dish.

1. 10 small sized round brinjals (cut the brinjals into 4 pieces not all the way through leave the stem portion intact)
2. 1/2 onion chopped into small pieces
3. 5 garlic pods (optional)
4. 1/2 cup tamarind pulp
5. seasonings, curry leaves, mustard, ural dal, methi seeds, asfoetida a pinch
6. 1 tbsp coconut paste or powdered pottukadalai (dahlia) (optional)
7. 1 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
8. salt to taste
9. 2 tsp oil
10. 1 tsp sugar

Ground Mixture
1. 3/4 red onion or about 15 small onions
2. 2 tbsp corriander seeds
3. 1/2 tbsp cumin seeds
4. 4 red chillies
5. 1/2 tsp pepper

dry roast 2-5 set aside and saute the onions in a little bit of oil and make a smooth paste.

1. In a pan heat the oil add the seasonings, adding the mustard last and when the mustard starts to splutter
2. Add the onions and saute a little bit
3. Add the cut brinjals and fry them till the skin starts to turn brown. An another name for this dish is Ennai Kathrikkai so the amount of oil added depends on taste.
4. Add the turmeric powder and then add the garlic and saute for a minute.
5. Add the ground mixture and tamarind juice, close the lid and cook in medium heat till the brinjals are fully cooked.
6. Add the salt, sugar and the powdered dahlia mixed in about 1/2 tbsp of water or the coconut paste, mix well and turn the heat off in 2-3 minutes.


Serve with rice or as a spicy side for dal rice.

Green Beans and Lima Beans poriyal

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Egg Biryani and a Birthday Cake

Birthday Cake
Dear Daughter wanted to bake a cake with her friends for her birthday celebration. She usually likes to have a party at Chuck E Cheese (they never seem to outgrow this place, hmmm), Bowling Alley or some such place. Last year after her party we arrived at a bright idea, she gets to have a birthday party at one of those afore mentioned places or the equivalent money goes to her bank account, hoping in the process it will teach her value for money and how not to spend it frivilouly. She chose the latter and hence the idea to bake cake and enjoy with her friends.

She and her friends were busy playing and when the time came they wanted play rather than bake the cake. So I went ahead and baked it. I have to confess this is the only cake I know how to bake. Really quick and simple. In the end I am pretty sure the kids enjoyed this toned down free celebration rather than the planned one.

1. 2 Cups of All purpose flour
2. 1 1/2 cups sugar
3. 2 sticks of butter at room temperature
4. 4 Eggs
5. 1/4 cup milk
6. 1/4 tsp Vanilla extract
7. a pinch each of baking powder and salt.
8. Chopped nuts and raisins, we added pecans chopped and craisins(dried cranberries sweetened with apple jucies and is slightly tart)



1. Reserve a little bit of the butter for lining the baking pans and beat the butter and add all the sugar till they are mixed well.
2. Beat the 4 eggs till frothy separately.
3. Now start adding the flour little by little to the buter mixture and when it starts getting dry start adding the the beaten egg mixture and when that is done add the milk little by little, add the vanilla extract and salt also. Mix using a egg beater and stop when all they are all incorporated.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans. We made one plain and the just before pouring the batter into the next pan mixed the chopped nuts and raisins using a spatula.
5. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for aobut 40 minutes or an inserted knife comes out clean.

Briyanis have always been a favorite of mine. Whenever I tasted Briyanis at a party or in a restaurant, I remember thinking "man they taste so good and must be hard to prepare", this was a little before I started cooking. But now they are my favorite recipe and also in my opinion easiest to cook provided you are using a pressure cooker like I do most of the time. I arrived on the precise timing to cook after several trial and error and having about an inch charred and stuck to the bottom of the cooker. So if I want something quick and tasty I fall back on Briyanis to do the trick. I cook better Non. Veg Briyanis than Veg. ones.

I saw Shankari's Egg A Meal could not resist and cooked it the next day. Briyanis get tastier as they get older so a good dish to pack for lunch the next day. You will find everybody wandering towards the kitchen to check out where the amazing smell was coming from.

Egg Briyani
1. 5-6 boiled eggs, slit in half.
2. 2 Cups Basmati rice
3. 1 Big Red onion thinly sliced lengthwise
4. 6 pods garlic, 2 inch piece ginger 2 green chillies chopped in a food processor (you can also ginger garlic paste but chopped cooks faster)
5. 1/2 tomato chopped fine
6. 1/4 cup cilanro leaves chopped
7. 1 cup mint leaves chopped
8. Seasonings, curry leaves, cumin 1/4 tsp , fennel seeds 1/4 tsp, 2 bay leaves, 3 cloves, 1/2 inch piece cinnamon stick
9. 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
10. 2 green chillies (adjust this because it also added minced)
11. 1 tsp red chilly powder, 1 tsp chicken masala or garam masala powder
12. 1 tbsp oil, 1 tsp ghee
13. Salt
14. roasted cashews for garnish (optional)


1. In a pressure cooker heat the oil and ghee and add all the seasonings, as they turn brown add the onions and saute till they are translucent and brown.
2. Add the chopped ginger, garlic and chillies and saute till the garlic is soft.
3. Add the chopped mint and cilantro leaves. When they start to wilt add the turmeric, chilly and chicken masala powder and mix well.
4. Add the tomato pieces and cook till they are soft and mushy.
5. Add salt.
6. Add the washed Basmati rice and mix it well with the rice.
7. Add 3 cups of water and bring it to a boil and when the rice is 1/2 cooked, add the eggs and cover them with the rice. Don't mix too much the eggs will fall apart.
8.Close the lid put the weight, turn down the heat to just below medium and switch off the heat in 6 minutes and remove the cooker from the stove and keep it aside, or the heat will make the rice in the bottom stick.
9. When the cooker cools transfer to a bowl and garnish with onion rings and cashews.

Serve with the classic onion pachadi or any pachadi you prefer. RP has a great collection of pachadi recipes listed here.

Saturday, October 7, 2006

Onion Chutney and Idli

It is fall now. Never know what to expect weather wise, earlier in the week it was 80F and felt like summer, by mid week it was 50F and felt like winter Phew.... This morning woke up to slow drizzling cold rain and overcast and gloomy skies. What to do you on such a day look to food ofcourse to brighten up the day.


Spicy onion chutney and hot idlis it was for breakfast. Usually back home onion chutney is made with small red onions but here though we get the small red onions frozen, it is never as tasty as using fresh onions. The big red onions work just as well.

Onion Chutney
1. Big Red Onion cut into chunks
2. 2 tbsp ural dal(or 1 tbsp channa dal)
3. 1/2 tsp cumin
4. 1/4 tsp pepper (increase or decrease as per taste)
5. 2 Red Chillies
6. 1/2" piece tamarind
7/ 1/4 tsp turmeric powder

1. In a pan dry roast urad,cumin,pepper, red chillies and tamarind till the dal turns slightly brown, transfer.
2. Add oil to the pan and saute the onions with the turmeric till they turn brown, add salt, towards the end add 4tbsp of water and boil for a few minutes(the water is to make blending easier)
3. Transfer to a blender and blend to a paste.


Serve with Idlis but will taste good with dosai or even Chappathis. Keep a bowl of yogurt because this is really spicy.

Sunday, October 1, 2006

Paal Alva (Milk Pudding)

Saraswathi Pooja
Today is Saraswathi Pooja the day we offer our prayers to Goddess Saraswathi the Goddess of Learning and the Arts. Children's books and artistical instruments are put in front of the goddess during pooja. Saraswathi Pooja is preceded by Ayudha Pooja the day we offer prayers at our place of business.

On the occasion of Saraswathi Pooja I made Paal alva, simple but a rich dish. Gets done in a jiffy. You might wonder how this is different from Kesari, I had the same doubt too, but once you taste it you would understand how the two are totally different.

Paal Alva
Good times are always invariably linked to good food. As soon as I mentioned Paal Alva my daughter connected her visit to my grandmothers house and the occasion for which she had the dish came to her mind almost instantly.

I have made slight alterations in the measurements from my grandmothers recipe especially the ghee. I reduced the ghee from 2 cups to 1/2 and increased the milk from 3 cups to 4, but tasted just as delicious


1. 1 Cup Ravai (Cream of Wheat)
2. 4 Cups Milk (I used 2%)
3. 1/2 cup ghee
4. 2 1/2 cups sugar (or as per taste)
5. 1 pod of cardamom powdered
6. 2 tbsp Cahsews broken into pieces ( or any nuts you prefer)
7. 2 tbsp of raisins

1. In a heavy bottomed pan, fry the Cream of wheat till slightly brown, set aside.
2. In the same add a tsp of ghee and fry the nuts and raisins, set aside.
3.Pour the milk into the pan and bring to a boil.
4. Now add the cream of wheat, keep stirring adding the cream of wheat slowly.
5. When the cream of wheat is cooked add the sugar and mix well.
6. Add the ghee and the nuts and raisins and the powdered cardamom.
7. Keep stirring till the liquid is evaported but the texture should be like that of rice pudding.