Sunday, December 30, 2007

Fig, Golden raisin and Date Focaccia

There are definitely a few solid reasons for coming up with a recipe like Focaccia; the recent confidence I had gained in baking, a sudden craving for fresh home made breads, the packet of fresh active dry yeast I stumbled upon in the super-market(a rare ingredient to be spotted in our town) and above all a self-challenging recipe I need to try out for AFAM-Dry fruits for the month.After all this is hosted by the glorious Mom n Daughter team to whom the post goes…:)

Thank you Nirmala, for suggesting me the original recipe here.
Somehow I was more fascinated to try out this one from The Boston Globe that surprisingly calls for butter and eggs instead of Olive oil, a real focaccia needs.

Of course this is my first attempt of baking a bread.
I reserved half of the dough and baked Jai and Bee’s No-Knead Bread inspired by my sister’s post here (have not included the recipe or pictures in this post).

Making a Focaccia was far more easier than it seemed to be.Needless to mention-both the bread and the focaccia came out successfully and I enjoyed every step preparing ‘em; they in turn absolutely not lettin down the ‘new baker’! :)

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!

Bharathy :)
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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Home Made Grape Wine

"God made only water, but man made wine." -- Victor Hugo

My passion for wine started right from the childhood days having grown up in a Town with the majority of Christian Communities!..

There are hundreds of methods of making wine all over the world, but I've strictly stuck to the Central Kerala recipe, here.I would highly recommend this method as this had been cent percent successful to me with the Perfect Outcome!!.

"People spend too much time tasting wine; not enough time drinking it" --Andre Tchelistcheff

Yes, I am in the above category of "people”.. not a lover of wines but would love to sip a little, sense and appreciate the deep taste of the heavenly drink!..
My own proverb for wine would be-
'Knowing and appreciating wine can be compared to the knowledge of appreciating Diamonds…as it needs skill to differentiate between the good, better and the best!..'

And so when my better half turned back a couple of months ago with a box fully packed with bunches of deep red juicy grapes fresh from the vineyards, I was overjoyed!!
A part of it was passed over to relatives, a part went to make Grape juice preserve and a part was saved to make Wine!..

I made a litre of Grape wine from:

Red Grapes (with seeds)-300gms
Sugar-300 gms
Water-800 ml-boiled and cooled

Active dry yeast granules-2 tsps
Water boiled and warm-100ml-for dissolving the yeast

Wheat a tbsp(optional)
1 egg white(optional-I avoided)
Sugar for colouring-4 tsps more or less

Fermenting Wine.

Clean & wash grapes well.Remove the stalks.Wipe them dry one by one and crush with your finger tips.
Transfer the crushed grapes in a ceramic jar(I used the traditional Bharani, cleaned well enough and sun dried)..Add half the quantity of sugar (150 grams),water,egg white yeast dissolved in water and wheat.Mix well using a clean sun dried wooden spatula.Keep this airtight for 3 weeks(21 days) stirring with the wooden spatula every alternative day.

On the 22nd day, strain the mixture using a muslin cloth and discard the pulp. Add the balance sugar to the wine.

Wine 'before' and 'after' colouring.

Colouring the wine by caramelisation.

In a clean dry wok, add the sugar kept for colouring (3 tsps) – place on fire, stirring continuously till the sugar melts and acquires a deep reddish brown hue; taking care not to burn.Now add about 1-2 tbsps of hot water to this syrup little by little and mix well.Cool and add this whole syrup to the wine. Mix well.The wine would have attained a beautiful deep red colour by now.
Store the wine in a clean bottle closed with a cork & use. There would be a cloudy formation towards the bottom of the bottle.Need not worry.Pour out to wine glasses carefully not to disturb the sediment as far as possible.

The uncaramelised glass of wine you see here is slightly cloudy as it was poured out from the bottom.I reserved just 200 ml before colouring, to blog :) and finally ended up in disturbing the fine sediment :D..

"I made wine out of raisins so I wouldn't have to wait for it to age." -- Stephen Wright

Well, I too was a little impatient to wait till three weeks.So I actually used 3 tsps of yeast and fermented for just 10days as the temperature was quite warm here. I would taste the wine every time while stirring the jar and strained the wine when it reached its stage of fermentation(10 days).This strictly depends upon the outside temperature, the amount of sugar and yeast in the mixture.Wheat(starch) and egg white(protein) are used to speed up the process.I avoided both.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Wine is the most healthful and most hygienic of beverages" -- Louis Pasteur

Wishing You all a Merry Christmas !...

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Friday, December 21, 2007

Mexican Hot Chocolate

When I prefer chocolate in cakes,V opts hot chocolates, while my kids are not real fans of the same!..

Any brand goes fine for a real chocolate lover. But Monbana was one of them which I instantly fell in love with, esp the hot chocolat poudre they offer.Purely French in origin,we tasted this first during one of our transits in Paris CDG.The hot chocolate was heavenly and refreshing which wiped off our chillness n weariness in just a few seconds!!.

I read somewhere that the Mexicans use a pinch of red chilly/cayenne pepper powder along with their hot chocolates.I didn’t whip it up with the drink but garnished, though the original recipe here had not suggested the same.

You need:

2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cinnamon stick
1-ounce semisweet chocolate ( I used Monbana Chocolat en poudre)
3 drops vanilla extract(omitted as the above contains natural vanilla extract)
Whipped cream, for garnish


In a heavy saucepan, heat the milk, ground cinnamon and cinnamon stick until simmering. Add the chocolate and let melt(added the powder and brought to boil). Remove from heat and add vanilla extract(This step was skipped ).Transfer to mugs and serve with whipped cream.Sprinkle a pinch of red chilly powder over the cream.

This goes to JFI-Chocolates for Deepz of Letz Cook.

Besides ground cinnamon and a whole stick while boiling, I thought of using cinnamon spoon too. So, Sunita, I am there for Think Spice-think Cinnamon as well!.:)

Eating chocolate daily also appears to lower the risk of miscarriage in pregnant women. To top up, it has a good impact on baby, as well!.
Easy Crafts,this is also for your novel and unique Food during Pregnancy Event!.
The chocolate powder is a readymix.The recipe- vegetarian, healthy, simple and quick not involving any kind of strainful activity for the pregnant woman.

I am also qualified for cute girl Bindya's My Favourite Things event!..:D

Errr…anyone hosting chillies, milk or sugar in any of your events at present please??? ;)
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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Fresh Thuar in Pods and a few more...

How do you exactly feel when your offspring outsmarts you?

Well, for me the feelings were somewhat mixed; 99% proud and a percent of disappointment!..(after all he or she is your child whom you had always looked upon as an ignorant or an innocent so far!..)

Very recently,V brought home some fresh Thuvar/pigeon peas down from the fertile valley fields of Cumbum located down the eastern stretches of the Western Ghats. He was happy to have bought 3 kgs in all, in 3 large bags from the farmer and paid just Rs 30 !!(if it would have been me, the farmer would have had a tougher time and would have given off the same bags in half the price) :)

Since at present, I am a little down with UTI and in antibiotics at least for a month and a half, caring the health has taken a front seat with blogging and blog hopping, much behind.The side effects of Nitroflurantoins being worse than the symptoms of the disease.

Linda was done with her fabulous round ups I and II for JFI-Thoor Dal for the month.Still she was glad to receive the pictures of Fresh Thuar in Pods for her reference page.

The D-day doomed upon one fine day last week, with the above three scenes in the background. My 14 year daughter, who had been a silent spectator to my food photography till date, took the initiative in shooting the pictures.I let her proceed instantly considering my illness and she came back to me within a few minutes with 4 pictures in all(unlike her mother who clicks at least a dozen and uploads one or two in the end).To my surprise all the 4 were amazing!!

She wanted to capture the natural beauty of the pods and pointed them in 'Macro' mode .

Now she wanted to concentrate on the "Fresh Thuar beads " and pointed them.

I just cropped the picture to bring out the beauty of the lentils.The pictures required no further editing!!! To my astonishment, the back ground was blurred beautifully by itself, and was definitely a no non-sense shot!.

Well, now her mother got ready and shot a few.Below is one of hers :)

As the skills were proven by now, she wanted her turn again…she didn’t include the chillies and the curry leaves in the picture below; as her mom always prefers; reporting those might spoil the beauty of the lentils!!!....(really??!!) ...

Boiled and Tempered whole, fresh Thuar..

Peeling them raw and green had been a tougher job.
The whole pods(for about ½ kg) were salted and pressure cooked until a few whistles to ensure that the thuar was cooked enough..Discarded excess water.Cooled and peeled out the cooked lentils.
Heated a tbsp of oil in a kadai.Spluttered some mustard seeds and browned some urad dal.Added a pinch of hing, ½ tsp grated ginger and threw in a couple of green and red chillies cut and broken into 3-4 pieces each.A sprig of curry leaves went in next, followed by the lentils.
Sautéd for a minute checking salt and served warm.This was soothing for my bitter tongue with an evening cup of hot tea.

It was still drizzling, outside...

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Sunday, December 9, 2007

'5 Qs' and a 'Fridge Display'..

I have been tagged for '5Qs' by the mom and for the 'Fridge Display' by the daughter.

I enjoyed doing them.The 5 Qs, where one has to answer to the questions without much breaking of the head, and for the 'fridge', to take photographs part by part and to rant about....Thank you ladies..:)

The 5 Qs

1.How long have you been blogging?

From the month of March 2007.This Food blog was started after a month and is now 8 months old.

2. What inspired you to blog and who are your mentors?

My sister who works with Google was the inspiration.
I started a generalised blog to share the day to day happenings and a few recipes.My sister(she’d started her food blog only after mine) wanted me to start a specialised food blog and gave this great girl’s link for an idea of what a real food blog was.That was when she and her friend, together came forward with a wonderful idea to put a start to this.
R.P had encouraged me immensely, even when I was new to blogging and the portal had inspired me to come forward with the present blog.All my post-links pertaining Kerala Cuisine strictly goes to this portal too.

3.Are you trying to make money online or doing it just for fun?

More than cooking I love photography and presentation.So all these are a part of my hobbies.
Blogging is a terrific ‘outlet’ for me and all of my friends I had earned, make my days more meaningful and pleasant!..
After my sister’s advice I did have ideas of making money, but dropped them for the time being.

4.What are the three things you love about being online?

1. As soon as I connect to the net I login G-talk to pester my sister, busy in her office.I truly 'nag' her and am seriously thinking of getting myself, her net-name “Nags”..:)

2. Simultaneously I watch out for the pop-up comments in G-talk and reach out hungrily to my blog for those precious comments from my dear readers.I blog hop, go through my friends’ new posts and give them my feed backs.

3. Ever since this food blogging I am in constant quest for recipes.I enjoy going through the varied tastes of the world, googling and just gaping at the monitor :).

5.What are the three things you struggle with online?

Blogging keeps my body glued on to the chair, fingers to the keyboard, and the eyes to the monitor, a little too much.Meanwhile I seldom share the system with others in the family.I neither or unwillingly attend any phone calls or doorbells.Many a times I had to confront burnt milk pans and kadais as the after effect(minor kitchen disasters) while trying to multitask.:)..

Therefore; Addiction, Selfishness and Negligence are the 3, I struggle online :).

Now for the Fridge Display..

I was too lazy to clean or organise the fridge before taking the pictures and below are a few of those random shots..A fridge to me is an 'organised store room' and need not be always spic and span ;)..after all it has to be functional and the accessability of the materials are much more important..:) ..

The freezer chest..

On the top left are the ice trays, the palm molasses(panai vellam) for my plain coffee to start the day,the Tupperware container which Lathamma had sent over and wanted me to use it to collect cream,raw peanuts and frozen peas.

The bottom rack is for those store bought powders.You can see masala powders,Ada (for prathaman) Badam milk mix and processed cheese.On the extreme right is a small jar containing sundried Raw rice tablets(pacharisi villai).I dilute one of these with water and use for maa kolam for my Pooja Room.(I use the place for preserving grated coconuts, homemade butter and cooked left over dal as well).

The main racks..

The top one with boiled milk in that pan, left over curries and Thirupathi ladoo on the right.
The middle one has a pan of homemade tea cake,which I made yesterday after lots of pushes from my kids and tucked in lazily to get rid of the ants outside.Chocolates beside.
The bottom most is reserved for Idly/Dosa batter, in 3 different containers.

The 'Veg Box' is refreshed every week and invariably has all the vegetables I need in stock, each wrapped up in different polythene bags. Stays fresh for even 2 weeks, in our Indian weather conditions!!..

The 'Mighty' Door..

The white box with peeled small onions, sliced big onions, Ginger on one side.Mango Ginger/Maa inji on top, lime tomatoes and chillies.This unusually placed'vegetable counter' is for the easy access while in emergency cooking.
Ready made soup packets(vanilla essence bottles, kesari colour and active dry yeast are hiding behind).Cashew nuts, Almonds and Walnuts in the next one.
Juices, home made pickles, sauces, pizza toppings and jams.
Chilled water at the bottom most, as you can see.

[Phew!..I could have better unloaded a few, so as to minimize typing :)!..]

Somehow, these magnets on one side of the fridge catch the attention of most my guests; each one commemorating our sweetest foreign trips..:)

I tag Renuka, Remya and my sister for 5 Qs and Fridge Displays. ;)

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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Nadan Parippu Curry / Cooked Dal with Coconut and Spices

It has always been much contrasting to me, when my mom scribbles down not more than half a kg of thuar dal in her monthly shopping list in Kerala when in Tamil Nadu, my ma in law gets a heavy sack of it from the local whole-salers which gets exhausted within half a dozen months!!.
I have heard Keralites talking about Ariyum Thengayum(Rice and Coconut) rather than the Tamilians who opt Arisi Paruppu(Rice and Thuar dal),which in turn proves the important ingredient of their varied kitchens..Of course, this protein rich pulse is a ‘must’ in my store with which I come out with the variety of dishes at least thrice a week!..

Parippu Curry is a delicacy of Kerala, as you all know. Like most of the curries of the state, this one too demands a blend of coconut along with a touch of milder spices tempered all with that mystic flavour of coconut oil.My mom makes this curry along with rasam which is projected as, “a comfort weekend combo”, but we, her children still make a fuss to compromise this for her great Sunday lunches, otherwise!..

So, this recipe is for the lovers of Dals, legumes and pulses.. and of course for dear Linda who hosts JFI-Thoor Dal for the month :).

You Need:

Thuar Dal/Thomara Parippu-1 cup
Green Chillies-5-6 nos-Slit the tips up till 3/4th taking care not to separate them.

Grind to a smooth paste,

Red Chilly Seeds-1/4 tsp
Garlic-2 cloves
Cumin seeds-1/4 tsp
Shallots-2 nos
Turmeric powder-1/4 tsp
Grated coconut- ¾ cup

To Temper,

Coconut Oil-1 tbsp
Ghee-1 tbsp
Mustard seeds-1/2 tsp
Shallots-minced-2 tsps
Red Chillies-2-broken into 4 pieces
Curry leaves-a sprig


Pressure cook dal till 3/4th done according to your pressure cooker methods.Mix in the slit green chillies and boil.Add the ground ingredients next and bring again to a boil to get rid of all the raw smell.The curry should be of a semi thick, pouring consistency by now.Switch off the stove.
Heat coconut oil and ghee together; splutter mustard seeds and fry minced shallots till dark brown.Throw in the curry leaves and the red chillies.Pour this tadka over the dal curry.
Serve hot with Rice, Chapathis or Phulkas

Note-Dry fried Moong dal/varutha cherupayar parippu can also be used instead of thuar dal.Substitiute Coconut oil and ghee with the oil of your choice if you are a calorie counter.

Recipe Courtesy –Nadan Pachakarama by Mrs KM. Mathew.
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Friday, November 30, 2007

Inji Kuzhambu

Inji/Ginger,we all know has its own medicinal properties as a carminative and goes into a variety of appetising drinks, curries and side dishes. More about this rhizome here.
This is a recipe by my husband's grandma,which I prepare at least once a week.This Kuzhambu, for boiled rice is definitely opted in our family as a 'back home delicacy' after a holiday.

I prepared the 'comfort curry' along with Urulai kara kari, Tempered green gram dal, Rasam and Vadagam, this time soon back after my 4 day stay in Chennai and proved to be soothing as always! :)

As you can guess by now this is submission to dear Sunita for Think Spice...think ginger.

I feel extremely happy to 'jump into' her great event in the last minute.No words to thank you dear Sunita, really very sweet of you to accept my entry so late!.
Thanks to my new camera which made the post complete.The curryI had made is actually thicker than you see here and I am not so happy with the picture as in a hurry to enter the event and will update with a better one, later as I have yet to get used to my new cam as well ;)...


Ginger(diced)- 1 1/2"piece
Coriander seeds -3 tbsps
Fenugreek seeds(venthayam) -1/2 tsp
Thoor dal- 2 tsps
Red chillies- 6-7 nos
Thick tamarind extract- 1/3 cup or to taste
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
Salt- to taste
Gingelly oil- 2-3 tbsps
Mustard seeds -1/4 tsp for seasoning
Curry leaves- a stalk


1. Heat one or two tsps of oil in a kadai, roast diced ginger, coriander seeds, fenugreek,thoor dal and redchillies one after the other carefully in a medium flame. Use a heavy bottomed utensil for even roasting. Be careful not to 'over' or "under" roast.

2. Grind to a smooth paste adding enough water.

3. In the same pan, add the remaining oil and splutter the mustards, fry curry leaves.(I always throw in a tsp of finely minced ginger again at this stage as both of us are ginger lovers and we love to chew in those tiny bits blended along with the rice and curry).

4. Add tamarind extract, ground paste,turmeric powder, salt, a cup of water and let it simmer for 20 minutes. Add more or less water( if needed) till a semi thick consistency is reached.

5. Remove from fire when the curry becomes thicker, oil separates and the raw smell disappears.

Serve hot with rice and vegetable of your choice.

Inji Kuzhambu has a longer shelf life compared to the other curries and stays well upto 3 weeks if refrigerated.
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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Kaplanga Ularthu/Stir-fried Green Papaya

I had been a little away from home recently and had not been up with regular updations and blog visits.To top up, my camera failed to function, unexpectedly.Now that I am back with a simple dish.

Papaya, as you all know, is a common and well known Indian fruit.I have not come across much of dishes with the vegetable or the 'Green Papaya' in South Indian Cuisine other than Kerala. The tree laden with the vegetable is from my mom's garden and the dish was prepared fresh from a couple of them.

Kaplanga is nothing but papaya.Ularthu or Mezhukkupuratti is an oil coated stirfry associated with God's own country. Mezhukkupurattis had always rendered me the fine memories of Kerala with the mingled aroma of coconut oil and I love this mild spicy mix of the green vegetable.
This authentic recipe is posted specially for Suganya towards her lovely theme of Vegan Ventures.


Raw Green Papaya, deskinned, cleaned and cut onto thin 1" long strips-2 cups
Shallots-3- crushed or minced fine
Garlic-2 cloves- crushed or minced fine
Turmeric powder-2 fat pinches
Coconut oil-A tbsp(more or less)
Mustard seeds-1/2 tsp
Red chillies-4-broken into 3 pieces each
Curry leaves-A sprig
Salt-to taste


Cook the papaya pieces in a closed pan adding turmeric and salt in ¼ cup of water for about 5 minutes till the water is absorbed and the pieces are half cooked.
Heat oil in a kadai,splutter the mustard seeds.Add the crushed or minced shallots and the garlic and saute till the aroma spreads arounds.Throw in the red chillies and curry leaves,followed by the papaya strips.Keep the flame medium and toss the pieces gently allowing the oil to coat all over and the pieces are glossy.Turn or toss gently for a few more minutes till they acquire a golden colour as in the picture.Do not let it get fried for long.Toss again and serve hot with rice and curry.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Arusuvai Friendship Chain - Gobi Manchurian!..

I received the much eagerly awaited packets of Arusuvai Surprise Ingredient from dear Lathamma of Yum Blog just the proceeding week she had made the announcement!.

Renuka and myself were thrilled to receive them, almost the same time on 7th Nov-the Diwali Eve!!..

To much of our surprise we received Laddoos which dear Lathamma had made in the announcement post!..they had been turned to boondis due to the mishandling by the courier people, yet they tasted PERFECT!!..with all the bursting aroma of cardamom and cloves and the soft, chewy, sweetness was divine!!..
Moreover the packets and the laddoos were seated comfortably in Tupperware containers, she had Gifted specially for both of us!!.

Thanks a ton, my sweet Lady!!:)

The packet I received was pure white in colour and had a very powdery texture.I sniffed it and tasted a pinch and soon came to the conclusion-CORN FLOUR!! :D..
I'm pretty comfortable with this ingredient when it comes to Indochinese cooking and decided to come up with the semi dry version of Gobi Manchurian; as the name suggests a well known Indochinese side dish.

Here goes...


1 Medium Gobi/Cauliflower-cut into florets

For the batter,

½ cup Cornflour(the surprise ing :))
½ cup Maida/All purpose flour
2 tsps of Ginger + Garlic-crushed
3 small onions/shallots-crushed
A tsp Red chilly powder
Salt-to taste
Oil- to deep fry

Final Mix up;

2 tbsp-Oil
A tbsp of Ginger + Garlic-julienned
A Capsicum(green or red)-cut into ½ inch squares
A Big Onion- cut into ½ inch squares
2 tbsp-Soy sauce
2 tbsp-Green chilly sauce
A tsp red chilly powder
Salt-to taste
Spring onions-to garnish

The Surprise Ingredient was white in colour and very powdery in texture which was confirmed to be “Cornflour”and the yummy "Laddoos-turned-to-Boondis!"...The Tupperware containers were also gifted along with!..:)

“IN” goes the Ingredient with the others.

The batter into which the precooked florets were dipped and deep fried.


1. Wash the cauliflower florets and boil them for a couple of minutes in salted water(should be just 1/4th cooked and not over cooked).Drain and keep aside.

2. Mix cornflour, maida, crushed ginger garlic, small onions ,chilly powder and salt with warm water to make a thick batter.

3. Dip Cauliflower florets into this batter and deep fry them until golden brown. Set aside.

4. Now for the mixing up part ; in a broad and wide wok, heat 2tbsp oil and sauté the sliced ginger-garlic, onion and capsicum in that order and saute for a couple of minute.The onions and capsicum should retain its crispiness and do not let them turn brown.They need to be just translucent.

5. Now add the red chilly powder, soy and chilly sauces in high flame and mix continuously for a few seconds.

6. Add ½ cup of water to this and fried and cooled gobi chunks.

7. Sauté again for 3-4 minutes to absorb excess water of any and switch off fire when it is semi dry/ saucy consistency has reached. Let the pieces be 'a li'l crisp' and not soggy at this stage.

Garnish with freshly chopped spring onion greens and serve hot with Indochinese noodles or rice.

My packets of Surprise Ingredients are already off to my dear blogger friends Lakshmi and Lissie ; of course with personalised letters :)…
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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Corn flake Cookies

Residing in a country like India, Cornflakes had seldom fallen under our breakfast menu, except for our foreign trips when they used to appear regularly on our breakfast tables!.
We do love its crunchiness mingled with the chillness of the fresh milk and the chewy dry fruits added, when we make decisions to continue this ‘healthy diet norm’ back home..and back to India, alas!, we would bounce back to our regular heavy diets of Dosas, Idlies and Poories …like a promise unkept :D..!!

I'd ' warned ' my sister umpteen times to keep the theme easy enough for WBB #17 , initiated by Nanditha of Saffron trail, which she had to host this month and even gave her a few ideas(even if she didn’t want them ;)) to announce it something like ‘steamed goodies’ or so(as a few of them are waiting ready to be published in my archives).. :)..
Then came the much unexpected announcement of the ingredient–Cornflakes!!..

I googled and googled, came along hundreds of recipes and got hooked (finally) on one of them which seemed to be easy enough.Again this needed to be baked and to admit the truth, I would be the least confident baker in blogosphere, still in my baby steps with trials...

...and this again belongs to one of those trials :)

Recipe from here

Cornflakes, crumbled well-2 cups
Flour-1 1/2 cups
Sugar-1cup-I used brown sugar.
Butter-1 cup
Vanilla extract-1 tsp
Baking powder-1 tsp

Cream butter, sugar and the vanilla extract.Sift flour with baking powder and add it to the butter sugar mixture.Stir in the crumbled cornflakes and mix well. Drop by teaspoons about 2 inches apart, leaving enough space for the cookies to spread out.I flattened the cookies with the bottom of a moistened glass as in the recipe and avoided nuts as they were optional. Cream of tartar was skipped as it is was not available here in my place.The cookies were baked for about 15 minutes at 350 deg.

My kitchen had than divine aroma of butter cookies, lingering all the day.
They tasted great with my morning cup of plain coffee and were quite filling that I skipped my breakfast…..Can I rename them as Corn flake breakfast cookies ?;) and enter the WBB #17, hosted by my sister?.

Coming out with cornflakes and baking together was a real challenge for me. I still have my own doubts regarding, “is this how the real cornflakes cookies look?” or is this the method of making them?..Do do they have an unusual darker brown hue as you see here? Believe me, they were ‘chewy’ rather than ‘crispy’ and aren’t they thin and flat than the regular cookies?Is it because of too much of butter or since flattened with the back of a glass? what is the action of cream of tartar in baking?...I need help, from my blogger pals who are experienced bakers, here, please...:)....
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Wednesday, November 7, 2007


Another year of celebrations, happiness and good will, sharing them with sweets, crackers and lighter moments with near and dear ones ..

Wishing You all a very Happy Diwali..

For this special occasion, I am here with Suhiyan, a very traditional delicacy of Tamil Nadu which falls under the appetizer or the ‘sweet’ category. Also known as Suliyam or Suzhiyan, each home has its own version of it!..

And here's mine which goes to Vee of Past Present and Me, who hosts JFS-Diwali ; Special Edition of JFI.


For the outer cover:

Parboiled Rice:urad dal)-4 : ¾ parts
For the above filling I needed 2 cups rice and ¼ cup ball variety urad dal
Salt-1/4 tsp or to ‘just’ taste

Soak Rice and dal together to 3-4 hours and grind to a smooth batter which is slightly thicker than the regular idly batter, adding salt.Keep aside.

For the filling:

Bengalgram dal/Kadalai paruppu-1 ½ cups
Jaggery/Vellam-3/4th of a medium sized ball or 1 cup grated, loosely packed
Grated coconut-3/4 cup
Cardamom powder/yelappodi-to flavour
Salt-a pinch


Wash and cook the bengal gram dal in liberal amounts of water(3 ½-4cups) till done.Avoid pressure cooking the dal as it would turn overcooked and mashy.Press the dal flat with your finger tips to check and see whether cooked soft.Transfer this to a bowl and mix the other ingredients to it, when cool.Pulse in a mixie adding no or minimal amounts water(justsprinkle if necessary).Let the filling be just mashed and not too much.A taste test can be done to check the sweetness and add jaggery or coconut a little more, if you prefer more sweet or coconutty.Shape them into small lime sized balls

To prepare the Suhiyans,
Finally you need:

Refined oil-to deep fry


Heat oil in a kadai.Dip the balls one by one into this batter and deep fry as batches of 3-5 numbers, in oil.Remove the Suhiyans when golden brown and crispy.


  • I used 'IR-20 puzhungal arisi : muzhu uzhutham paruppu' for the rice and urad dal combo, which gave good results.
  • For normal iddly/dosa batter we use 4:1(Rice: dal combo).You can substitute this batter too, but has the risk of the Suhiyan absorbing too much of oil.
  • Maida batter can also be used as the outer cover as in the Suliyam here or Suzhiyan here.
  • The filling should be firm but soft and let it not be loose.
  • During the course of frying, the batter droplets released might turn to small black powdery bits that get dispersed in oil.You would just have to sieve and remove them in between to avoid them sticking to the Suhiyan. Observe the pictures carefully and you can spot them out in mine too :).
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Thursday, November 1, 2007

Arusuvai Friendship Chain!..

Yes, we, the bloggers residing in India are proud to have put a start to this new chain..named arusuvai.
A chain of friendship and fun which moves on and on…
To begin with, this will be restricted in India.

As you all know, Mrs.Latha Narasimhan, has already put the start of arusuvai..

Popularly known as Lathaji, Lathamma, Mami, as we all know is an addicted and an affectionate food blogger, the most active author of the well known domain, The 'Yum' Blog..
We wanted her to name the chain and kick it “start”, giving due respect to her seniority in terms of age, and capability; a 4 month old blogger with much enthusiasm, celebrating their 100th post and a hit of 10,000 within a couple of months!!.

Lakshmi, her daughter, holds the credit of creating these cute Logos.

Thank you Bhags, for all your valuable opinions.

Renuka and myself are honoured to be the first recipients of arusuvai and are all prepared to grab the “Surprise Ingredient”, already dispatched by dear Lathamma.

When you receive a package with a “surprise ingredient” as a part of arusuvai here are the basic rules you need to follow:

1. Prepare something tasty with it and post recipe with a picture if you are a blogger with the logo, a link to person who passed it to you and to this post if you like for reference.

2. If you don’t blog, do share the recipe with the friend who gave it to you or post it as a guest post on someone you know who blogs.

3. Pass on a “surprise ingredient” to two or more friends, one of whom must preferably an active blogger.We all want to have some fun together right?
Since this is starting here in India we request all Indian bloggers or those who’d like to be a part of this chain to show themselves up - we’ll ensure you get to be part of the fun.

Co-ordination is a requirement and a necessity to bring the bloggers together.Srivalli and myself have decided to keep a track of the donors and recipients on the go, as far as we can.

Feel free to recognise yourselves, if you an active blogger residing in India, to drop a comment in this announcement post or in the comment box link down here, to be a part of the chain..

The ribbons are cut and arusuvai is moving on…from the Southern tip of the country, creeping up to the North…

Be a part!!Have fun!!Good Luck!!..
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Monday, October 29, 2007

Indo Chinese Vegetable Noodles.

Indochinese dishes are the ones prepared using the Chinese cooking methods using the Indian ingredients, a fusion , accepted by most of the Indians world wide.

Vegetable Chow mein or noodles is my kids’ favourite, preferred any time of the day.As they are pure vegetarians( not allowed to stir in eggs either ;)..I go chop chopping the veggies...and once this part is done, the preparatory becomes simple and interesting.

Here’s my version of it..

To serve 4;

You need:

Noodles –a 200gm pack -I used Savorit Brand which is 100% veg.
Oil-to coat the cooked noodles-a tbsp
Oil you prefer-3 tbsps
Onion-one-sliced thin lengthwise
Capsicum-julienned-1/2 cup
Ginger-minced or julienned-a tbsp
Garlic-3 cloves-minced or julienned
Soy sauce-a tbsp-more or less
Green chilly sauce-2 tsps-more or less
Aji-no-moto-1/4 tsp
Salt-to taste
White pepper powder-1/4 tsp
Spring onions-chopped- to garnish

To cook the noodles:

Boil a litre of water in a large pan.Add salt.When it bubbles and swirls, add noodles.Reduce the flame to medium and close the pan with a lid.Cook for 4-5 minutes or until they are ‘just’ soft.Take care not to over cook.The cooking time depends upon the quality of the noodles and the softness of the water.Drain the noodles to discard the water completely.Keep the noodles along with the drainer under a running tap of cold water.Drain the cold water and add a tbsp of oil and mix it along gently using your fingers,as the noodles must have turned cold by now.This helps to keep the strands separate and glossy.


Heat 3tbsps of oil in a large wok,sauté onions for a few seconds, add ginger, garlic and sauté again.Now add the vegetables(carrot, cabbage and capsicum)and sauté for 2-3 minutes, keeping the flame high.(This is imp when it comes to chinese method of cooking).Let the vegetables be crisp or just cooked and not too soft.
Add the soy and chilly sauces, aji-no-moto and mix well to the vegetables.Add the cooked noodles and mix altogether.Sprinkle pepper powder and check salt.Garnish with spring onions and serve hot with Gobi  Manchurian Mushroom Munchurian any Indochinese sidedish.

The first picture is my entry to Click, the very own event hosted by Jai and Bee.

This is also my submission to Margot of Coffee & Vanilla who is hosting Vegetarian Awareness Month.
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Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Spice Mix for a Spoonful of Christmas...

It had been quite a surprising discovery that a cute girl residing in Sweden has almost the same tastes of that of a lady who dwells in South India!!.The resemblances of these ladies are the love for chillies, spices, care for their sisters and more..So what if comes, if these attributes blend?...Care for the sisters, love for the spice mixes and sending them over as a gift?..

After having seen and read about the awesome Monday Spice Series , the collection of spice mixes, which the Swedish girl had prepared personally and gifted her sister for her wedding, the idea had been brewing up in me which had eventually turned out to reality now.

Even in her early teens my sister preferred homemade spice mixes and would remark,"when I start cooking, I am never going to get the store bought masalas or powders and will see to it that I make them personally, unadulterated!".

This is my gift to Nags , for her love of fresh spices ; my submission to A Spoonful of Christmas hosted by the sweet Zlamushka .

Sambhar masala or Sambhar powder had earned me the "greatest hit credit" among all the recipes blogged so far; the simple reason of choosing this ingredient to be gifted..

The recipe to make this "spice mix" is here and the "curry" which can be made out of this powder is here.
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