March 26, 2011

Potato Oil Roast

It is our wedding Anniversary on Thursday. We completed 12 years of blissful marital life and together step into the Thirteenth year. That long. Time does fly. Wishes and blessings came pouring in from both our family sides and we both planned to keep it simple as we both had lot of year end work commitments. But I wanted to make something special for him and when I asked him what he would like to have, he requested for this roast.  

This is a signature dish of my Grandma and also it happens to be a custom in my family to welcome the Bridegroom by serving this roast while inviting the newly weds for lunch to our home. This was served to us when we went to her house for VIRUNDHU after our marriage. Dear Hubby had become a fan of this side dish ever since. Now to the recipe...

You’ll need:
Potatoes – 200 gms
Onion – 1 (big)
Tomato – 1 (big)
Mustard seeds + urad dal – 1 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Garlic paste – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Garam masala powder – 1 ½ tsp
Coriander leaves – for garnishing
Salt – taste
Oil – for deep frying

Chop the onion and tomatoes finely. Remove the skin from the potatoes and cube them. Heat water and cook the potatoes with turmeric powder and salt till they become soft. You can also pressure cook them but they tend to become mushy. Drain the water and spread the cubes  over a plate.

Heat 2 tsp oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, when they pop add the urad dal and roast it. Now add the onions and cook till they become brown. Add the tomatoes at this stage and cook till it become mushy and gravy forms. Now add the red chilli powder, garam masala powder, garlic paste and mix well.

Meanwhile heat oil in kadai and deep fry the cooked potato cubes to a golden brown color and add them to the masala gravy and mix well. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve with any sambar rice. I also made this Orange Chenna Payesh for dessert which happens to be both our favorites.

This Scrumptious Potato Oil Roast is off to Gayathri's Walking through the Memory lane

Enjoy Your Weekend !!!

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March 25, 2011

Eggless Vanilla Sponge Cake

You won't believe if I say that this cake had been in my list of  To Do list for almost 1 1/2 years now. This recipe was in the cook book that came along with the Oven when I bought it long back. This was never tried out because Arjun hates white colored food and cakes and he refused point blank to taste it if I was going to bake it. I did not have the heart to have it with DH and Arun, so had been postponing on and on till now.

That was the only reason I changed my blog background color too. Whenever he catches hold of me working in the blog he starts moaning about the color. So finally could stand no longer, gave up and changed the background. I promised him that if the Chocolate sponge cake tasted good this would be even better. It turned out very well and every one loved it very much.

You'll Need:
All purpose flour – 300 gms
Corn Flour - 2 tbsp
Fresh Thick Curd - 1 cup
Sugar - 1 cup (200 gms)
Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
Baking powder - 1 1/4 tsp
Vegetable Oil - 1/2 cup
Vanilla essence - 1 tsp
Milk - 1/4 cup

Preheat oven to 200 Deg C. Prepare a baking tin by greasing it with butter or oil and keep it ready.

Sieve the flour, corn flour, baking powder, baking soda together at least twice and keep aside. Beat together sugar and curd till the sugar completely dissolves. Now add the vegetable oil and beat it again.

Now add the sieved dry ingredients little by little to the wet ingredients while mixing it together. The batter should be thick and creamy.

Pour the batter in the prepared tin and bake for 30 -35 mins till a toothpick inserted comes out dry and clean. I brushed the top of the cake with little milk for the browning effect 5 minutes before the ending time.

Let the cake cool completely before slicing them and serve with some cream or cut fresh fruits.

The next time I am going to increase the amount of sugar by  another ¼ cup as per my kids wishes. Adding corn flour gave the cake good crumbs which I loved very much.

Enjoy !!!

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March 21, 2011

Paneer Butter Masala

Paneer Butter Masala is the most like side dishes of my whole family for chapathis or rotis. Both my kids have this with almost anything anything. It always used to be the most ordered one during our restaurant trips in the past.  But once I have learned the art of making this side dish with out so much fat laden and tastier as the restaurant all the ones in the family prefer mine over the restaurant ones. Here is the recipe doing it my way.
Paneer Butter Masala

You'll Need:
Paneer – 200 gms
Onions – 2, big
Tomatoes – 4, big
Ginger – 2 inch piece
Garlic – 4 cloves
Cinnamon  – 1 stick
Cloves – 2
Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
Coriander powder – 2 tsp
Garam masala powder – 2 tsp
Cashewnuts – 15 – 20
Kasuri methi – ½ tsp
Milk – 1 cup
Red food color – 2 pinch (optional)
Salt – to taste
Butter – 3 tbsp
Fresh cream – 3 tbsp
Coriander leaves - chopped for garnishing

Blanch the onions in hot water for 5 mins, grind it to a paste along with ginger and garlic.  Puree the tomatoes. Grind the cashews to a paste with little milk and keep aside.

Cube the paneer. Heat ½ cup of milk in a pan. To this add food color, a pinch of salt and paneer cubes and keep it aside.

Heat 2 tbsp of butter in a pan and add the cinnamon and cloves. When the flavor emits add the onion ginger garlic paste and sauté till the color changes to a light brown. You will see that the butter has been fully absorbed.

Now add the coriander, red chilli and garam masala powder and sauté well till the raw smell disappears. Add the tomato puree at this stage and simmer till the raw smell disappears and the butter starts oozing along the sides.

Add the paneer cubes along with the milk mixture, cashew paste, salt and some more milk to the required consistency and simmer for another 7 -10 minutes. Add the crushed kasuri methi, remaining butter and stir well.

Garnish with chopped coriander leaves, fresh cream and serve hot with chappathis or phulkas.

This is off to Ayeesha Riaz's A.W.E.D Event featuring Indian Cuisine, a brain child of DK

Bon Appetit !!!

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March 20, 2011


Reshmi Mahesh and Kaveri Venkatesh have shared these awards with me. Thanks to both of you for sharing this with me. I feel so happy and these awards make my day.

Though I have been asked to share this with 15 fellow bloggers, I feel that for the effort that is being in put in by the bloggers, everybody deserve it. So share this with everyone.
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March 19, 2011

CBB Series #2 ~ Chettinad Special

The past few days were so hectic and tiresome. Arjun had his Annual exams added to the high grade fever so that I had to be with him at school, wait for him and then take to the Doctor. He has been advised lots of fluid and a low exposure to sun. Thank God he is now okay and his exams are also over. Hence the delay in announcing this month's series.

As mentioned in the last series I have planned on taking forward this series with from this month based on a theme. For this series's theme I have chosen Chettinad Cuisine.

The mention of Chettinad brings to our mind a larger than life image of its people and their culture. They excelled with their sharp business acumen. Their palatial bungalows, architecture being so unique in nature that they brought into the food as well. A new genre of cuisine has been named after their region. Their local specialty cooking being known well as "Achi Samayal".  

Having said all this,let me take thru some guidelines for this event.

1. Cook any recipe of your choice that belongs to the Chettinad region and post it in your blog before 15th April. 
2. The recipe can be your own or from any other source be it from another blog, from your friend etc., If you are trying a recipe from another blog, please acknowledge by providing a link to them and write the recipe in your own words.
3. Multiple entries are welcome.
4. Only vegetarian recipes please (eggs are allowed).
5. Add a link back to this event announcement. The Logo is a must. Entries without linking your post to this announcement and omission of logo will not be accepted.
6. No archived and reposted entries please. The idea of this event is to scale new horizons and learn many new recipes. 
7. Please send me an e-mail to with the following details
# Name :
# Blog Name :
# Blog URL :
# Recipe Name : 

# Recipe link :
# A Click of your recipe 

8. Please send in your entries before 15th of April and the round up will be in the following week.

Check out these 2 chettinad recipes from this blog
Chettinad Kalyana Vatral Kulambu
Chettinad Vegetable Kurma
So get set for celebrating with some yummy finger licking Chettinad fare. 
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March 14, 2011

Pav Bhaji

During the recent visit to the Doctor for Arjun’s routine check up, all food restrictions was cleared up which had me heaving a big satisfied sigh. It is quite difficult to restrain a child from eating certain foods which the other kids in his age group normally eat and crave. Arjun had a big wish list of which Pav Bhaji stood first and foremost.

In the last fortnight I had made this several number of times and he eats the bhaji with almost anything not just Pav. It is almost like “Thottuka Vendam, Appadiye Saapiduven”. Here is the recipe...
Pav Bhaji

You’ll need:
Cauliflower – 1 head
Peas – ½ cup
Capsicum – 1
Potato - 1
Carrot – 1
Onion – 2
Tomato – 4
Garlic – 4 pods
Pav bhaji masala powder – 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Garam masala powder – ½ tsp
Oil / Ghee – 2 tsp
Butter – 2 tsp
Salt – to taste
To Serve:
Pav Buns – 4
Onions, chopped fine – 2 tbsp
Coriander leaves, chopped fine – 2 tbsp

Puree the tomatoes. Grind onions and garlic to a paste and keep it aside.

Wash and cut all the vegetables. You can either pressure cook for 1 whistle or microwave them till they are cooked. Let it cool completely. Then put all the vegetables in a blender and blend till they are coarse.

In a big kadai heat oil. Add the onion garlic paste and sauté till they change to light brown color. Now add the tomato puree and sauté till the raw smell disappears.  Now add pav bhaji masala powder, red chilli and garam masala powder and salt to taste and cook for another 5 minutes.

Add the blended vegetables and cook for another 10 minutes over a low flame till the flavors of the spice powders merge together with the vegetables. You can add a blob of butter for more flavor.

For the Pav Buns: 
Slit the Pav buns in between. Rub little butter on both the insides. Place them on a hot tawa and toast them on both sides.

How to serve:
Garnish Bhaji with chopped onions and coriander leaves and serve with the toasted Pav Buns.

Note: You can also vegetables like french beans and bottle gourd. I used Everest Brand of Pav Bhaji Masala. I have used several other brands in the past but Everest and MDH really taste good. (Wish I get paid for this).

Enjoy !!!

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March 10, 2011

Hotel Coconut Chutney

I could very easily say that this Coconut chutney is a staple side dish served with south Indian breakfasts in many households.  I have been making this chutney over the years but have always felt that it never tasted like it does in hotels.

It was during one of my recent visits to my hubby’s home town that I got answer for this long search. During a function in one of my hubby's friends's house we were served hot medhu vadas with this chutney which tasted like the hotel chutney. I asked his friend’s wife if they had ordered from a hotel and she replied that they had not and that they were all made in home. I asked her the recipe and she was delighted to give it. Here is the chutney which has the secret ingredient to make it taste like the hotel chutney.
Hotel Coconut Chutney 

You’ll Need:
Freshly grated coconut – 1 cup
Fried gram dal (Pottukadalai) – ¼ cup
Ginger – ½ inch piece
Garlic – 2 cloves
Green chillies – 5 to 7
Salt – to taste
For Tempering:
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Oil – ½ tsp
curry leaves - 1 sprig

Grind all the ingredients in a mixer or food processor to a thick paste using little water to the usual chutney consistency. Transfer to a serving bowl. Heat oil in a kadai and add mustard seeds and curry leaves. Once it splutters pour the tempering over the chutney.
Serve with hot idlis, dosas, Venn pongal, Vadai etc., It tastes too good with medhu vadai.

Note:   The coconut has to be fresh to get the perfect taste. Do not add more garlic as the flavor of the chutney will change drastically.  Do not sauté the garlic in oil and use it raw for the perfect taste. Add or subtract green chillies as per your spice requirement.


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March 8, 2011

Garlic Bread Rolls

The very word Yeast is enough to scare me off from trying out a new recipe. I have heard many stories of people messing up big time with yeast and I think it only made me more adamant to try out anything that contained yeast in it.

But after seeing so many of these yummy looking rolls in the blogging world posted by the fellow bloggers I was really bit by it. So I mustered enough courage to try my hand at the bread rolls. If I did mess up I could always feed it to my neighbor’s dog (Hee Hee!!!!) of course wishing he would not take his revenge on me during my next visit.

Here is the recipe which is adapted from Nags Blog and a lot of inputs and thoughtful points by my mother’s neighbor who happens to be an expert in baking. Thanks to both of them that my first experience was so wonderful and a huge success.

Garlic Bread Rolls

You’ll need:
For the Dough:
All purpose flour – 1 ½ cups
Warm Water- 1/2 cup
Yeast - 1/2 tbsp
Salt - 1tsp
Sugar - 1 tbsp 
Oil - 1 tbsp + 1 tsp
Sesame seeds – 2 tsp (optional)
For the Garlic Butter:
Salted butter, at room temperature – 50 gms
Minced garlic – 4 cloves
Chopped coriander leaves & mint - 2 tbsp
Pepper powder – 2 pinch


To make the dough:

Heat 3 tbsp of water in microwave and to it add yeast and sugar. Mix it well and put the cup back in the microwave. The warmth and darkness activates the yeast quicker and it will become frothy.

Add this frothy yeast mix to the dough. Add salt, ½ tbsp of oil and mix and knead into soft elastic dough using warm water. Oil the surface of the dough and a vessel before placing the dough in it. Cover it with a damp cloth and keep the vessel again in the oven. Let it double in its size. Mine took just ½  hour to rise well.

For the Garlic butter : Just mix all the ingredients mentioned under For the garlic butter and keep aside.

How to proceed to make the Rolls:-

Preheat the oven to 180 Degrees. Grease a baking tin with oil and keep it ready.

Punch the dough to release the air and knead it again with greased hands. Divide the dough into two portions. Keep one portion of the dough on a floured surface and roll gently into a rough rectangle with 1/2" thickness. If sticky apply little flour. Spread about half the garlic butter and start rolling from one end to the other gently but firmly and cut at equal intervals. Do the same to the other portion too.

Arrange the rolls in the pan leaving enough space between them. Let it rest again for another 15 min to rise again. Brush melted butter on top and sprinkle some sesame seeds on top.

Bake at 180C / 375F for 30 mins. Mine got done in just 20 min. Insert a toothpick to check the doneness.

I served mine hot with tomato sauce. My children loved them so much. They were so soft and so easy to pull apart that I had to pinch myself that I had done this very correctly the first time itself. Hooray....

Note: The recipe called for olive oil but I was doubtful if my kids would love the flavor so went ahead and used vegetable oil. They still came out well.

I am sending these rolls to Blogger's Marathon - Nags of Cooking & Me hosted by Jayasri Ravi

and to my own event, the CBB Series ~ Celebrating Bloggers and Blogging 


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March 4, 2011

Paneer Payasam / Cottage Cheese Kheer

Both my children had holiday declared for Maha Shivaratri and I was in a hurry getting ready for the pooja. I had already planned on making Paruppu Payasam for Neiveidhyam, when Arjun asked to do something different than the usual stuff. I said that I had no time to prepare for something at the last minute. The little vermin all of a sudden volunteered to help and I couldn’t believe my ears as he is the laziest one in my home and he never volunteers to do any help in any form.

So I made him to make the balls. They were so big and he couldn’t make them small. I did not have the heart to chide him over the shape as his interest is what I counted at the time. He enjoyed it so much and I felt so happy that I took the time.

 I thought of posting this recipe some other time with perfect sized balls but I know that he will feel so happy when I show him the post and so going ahead with the pictures clicked. So when you are making this payasam make sure that the balls are smaller than the ones showed in this picture. 
Paneer Payasam

You’ll Need:
Milk – ½ + ½ ( 1 litre)
Lemon juice or white vinegar – ½ tsp
Condensed milk – 3 tbsp
Sugar – ¼  + ¼ (1/2 cup)
Cardamom powder – 2 pinch
Saara paruppu – 1 tbsp

Bring ½ litre of milk to boil and add the lemon juice to curdle it. Once the milk splits pass it over a fine mesh and separate the paneer from the whey water. Knead the paneer softly and make them into small balls.

To Make Sugar syrup: Take ¼ cup of sugar in a bowl and add water till the sugar is immersed. Mix it well and switch on the stove and bring it to a boil. No need for any string consistency. Add the paneer balls and cook for another 5 mins over low flame.

Bring the other ½ litre of milk to a boil, add condensed milk, mix well and simmer for 10 minutes for the milk to thicken slightly. Add the remaining ¼ cup of sugar, cardamom powder and the paneer balls along with sugar syrup and cook for another 5-10 minutes for low flame. Add saara paruppu before serving.

 Note: you can serve this either hot or cold. If you find your payasam to be watery or if you want to reduce cooking time, crumble 2-3 of the paneer balls and add it to the payasam.

I topped my payasam with some Tutti Frutti to add some color. Sadly except for one the others sank.

Bon Appetit !!!

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March 2, 2011

Chettinad Kalyana Vatral Kulambu

This Chettinad Kulambu will always hold a special place in my heart. I learned this recipe from an Aachi (Aunt) while visiting my MIL’s place. She happened to be her neigbour whose husband has come there on transfer. I was pregnant with Arun and she took such good care of me and cooked up some delectable unni appams and other chettinad specialities and used to serve with so much love. I shall always remember her kindness and love though she went back to Karaikudi some years back. She has become such a dear friend.

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