November 6, 2011

Potato Stir Fry - Simple Aloo Fry

This is the very basic version of potato fry with minimum ingredients. No seasoning. No onions. Simple yet yummy. It goes very well as accompaniment with dal-rice or sambar-rice. This is one such simple dish which can never get boring to see on our dining table :-)

Potatoes - 4
Oil - 1 tblspn
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Red Chili Powder - 1 tsp
Garam masala - 1/2 tsp (optional)


  1. Peel off potatoes and cut into small cubes. Wash them a couple of times in cold water. This removes the extra starch and cooking gets quicker.
  2. Take a wide non-stick pan and heat the oil.
  3. Add the potato cubes to oil. Keep the flame medium to high for the first five minutes. Keep stirring lightly.
  4. When the cubes are a little fried add turmeric and reduce the flame to medium-low. Keep stirring. DO NOT cover with lid. It becomes mushy if covered with lid.
  5. When half-done (takes approx. 10 minutes) sprinkle salt. Stir.
  6. When potato is completely cooked (fork goes smoothly through the piece), add red chili powder and garam masala. Stir lightly so that it spreads evenly. Turn off the heat after a couple of minutes.


  • Do not use spatula for stirring, that would mash the potatoes and fry gets mushy. Keep mixing by gently shaking the pan, holding it's handle.
  • If you can go easy on oil, use 2 tablespoons of oil. Fry gets done quicker and tastier too.
  • Cut potato cubes of uniform size, smaller the better.
  • If you are in hurry to get it done quick, after adding salt cover the pan with lid for 2 or 3 minutes. Remove lid and mix evenly. Repeat this a few times.

October 26, 2011

Besan-Coconut Burfi

Besan - 1 cup
Grated Coconut - 1 1/2 cups
Milk - 1 cup
Sugar - 2 cups
Ghee - 4 tablespoons
Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp
Cashews roasted in ghee - a few to garnish

1. Take a thick-bottomed vessel and boil the milk.
2. Meanwhile roast the besan in a tablespoon of ghee till nice flavor comes out and keep aside.
3. Add the grated coconut to it and reduce the heat to medium. Keep stirring till no moisture is left.
4. Add sugar to it. Sugar turns into thick syrup. Keep stirring for few minutes. Add cardamom powder.
5. Add besan slowly, keep stirring so no lumps are formed. Reduce the heat to medium-low and keep stirring.
6. Add the remaining ghee slowly while keep stirring continuously.
7. When it starts leaving the sides of the pan and moves as a mass along with the stirring ladle, it is done.
8. Transfer to a greased pan and cut into desired shape when warm.
9. Garnish with the roasted cashews.

Instead of cutting burfi into regular diamonds or cubes, I tried a little creatively. I tried setting a batch in colorful cup-cake liners and another batch as diyas :-)

October 25, 2011

Wheat flour laddu

It has goodness of whole wheat flour and also less ghee is used as milk is used to get the consistency to make into balls. Simple make and a tasty sweet.

wheat flour - 1 1/2 cup
sugar 1 cup
milk - 1/2 cup
cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp
ghee - 2 tbsp

1. Take a thick-bottomed vessel and heat ghee in it.
2. Reduce the flame to medium-low and add wheat flour to it. 
3. Keep stirring continuously and roast the flour till it turns light brown and nice aroma comes. It takes around 10 - 12 minutes. This is the step you need lot of patience.

4. Reduce the flame to low. Add sugar and mix well till flour and sugar combines nicely. Mix for a minute or two.
5. Add milk and keep stirring continuously without forming any lumps. Add cardamom powder. 
6. Keep stirring for a few minutes and remove from heat.
7. Keep stirring to let the heat escape and it is warm enough to be made into balls. 
8. Make lemon sized balls using your palms and place in the container where you want them to store.

October 23, 2011

Rasam Recipe

I know of many households, especially in Andhra, where rasam is a must-have at meals, each and every single day. I have been brought up in such a house :P So, my extreme liking of rasam dates back to my childhood. I remember my grandma mixing hot rice with steaming aromatic rasam and pouring ghee generously, and feed me mouthfuls of that warm juicy thing before going to school on rickshaw. I must be a mere 5 year-old that time, yet I remember it so vividly :) That was my first and best memory of rasam!

Krishna is my adversary at that. He thinks it is silly. According to him, rasam is not a dish at all! How rude!!! The only time he appreciated the goodness of rasam is when he was sick with fever for almost a week and completely lost his appetite. Rasam helped him revive his hunger while recovering.

Rasam has many health benefits. A few that comes to my mind are:
- The blend of spices used in rasam preparation aid in easy digestion of even a heavy meal.
- Rasam stimulates the digestive enzymes and improves appetite.
- Rasam with rice is one of the first baby foods in our households.
- Rasam is recommended for people recovering from sickness.
- Rasam relieves constipation.

Now, putting an end to my rasam saga and coming to the recipe part of it. I have learnt it from my mother-in-law's mother-in-law (krishna's grannie). Legacy :-)

Water - around 1 1/2 litres
Tomato (chopped) - 1
Tamarind - lemon-sized ball
Salt - 2 or 3 tsp
turmeric - 1/2 tsp
sugar - 1/2 tsp
fresh curry leaves - handful
fresh coriander - bunch

List-2 (for rasam masala):
cumin seeds (Jeera) - 1tsp
black pepper seeds - 1 tsp (it determines the spice level of rasam, so next time u make rasam adjust to ur taste)
garlic pods - 3

List-3 (seasoning):
oil - 2 tsps
cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp
asafoetida  - a pinch
dried red chili - 2
fresh curry leaves - 7 or 8

Never prepare rasam in a non-stick vessel. Use a stainless steel one.
1. Put all the above mentioned list-1ingredients in water and bring it to boil.
2. While the water is getting heated, grind list-2 items -- the cumin, pepper and garlic into a coarse paste. This simple and freshly ground rasam masala will give unbelievable aroma and taste to the rasam.
3. Add the masala paste and bring it to boil. When it starts to boil, reduce the flame to low and leave it boiling for 10 minutes. Adjust salt as per taste.

4. Take a small non-stick pan for seasoning. Heat oil in the pan.
5. Add asafoetida and then mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds in the same order.
6. When you hear first splutter of mustard seeds, add red chilies in halves.
7. Add curry leaves in the end just before turning off the flame.
8. Transfer these contents into the rasam.

By the time you finish all these steps, you will have the amazingly tasty rasam :) Trust me on that :D

October 19, 2011

Green paratha - the spinach paratha

I simply like the color of palak paratha. Looks lovely, isn't it? Nutritious and delicious in one go :) Our last night dinner was this spinach paratha with tomato curry, very tasty combination indeed!!

Preparation is very simple. I pureed fresh spinach leaves in blender, and used it to make dough. That is it..! Earlier I used to chop the leaves and mix it in wheat flour to make dough. But that makes rolling parathas a little difficult and time taking. When I saw the catchy green colored dough in a friend's house, I realized the better way of doing it.

Fresh Spinach leaves - 300g
Wheat flour
Salt - half a teaspoon

1. Blend the spinach leaves.
2. Add salt to wheat flour.
3. Mix the spinach puree in wheat flour to make smooth dough. I did not add any water. In case the leaves are not very fresh or the puree comes out thick, we might add water as well.

4. Roll into circles and fry on hot pan.

Enjoy them hot with any pickle or a spicy ketchup. I should say simple tomato curry will be nice though. You can find the tomato curry recipe here :-)

Simple Tomato Curry

What I like the most about tomato curry is, it goes very well as a side dish with both rice and rotis. It's simple yet tasty.

Onions - 3
Tomatoes - 4
Green chilies - 3
ginger-garlic paste - 1/2 tsp
red chili powder - 2 tsp
coriander powder - 1 tsp
garam masala - 1/2 tsp
salt to taste
oil - 2 tbsp
curry leaves
fresh coriander

1. Take a pan and heat the oil.
2. Toss in chopped onions, slit green chilies, curry leaves.
3. When onions are tender, add ginger-garlic paste and fry till the rawness goes.
4. Add coriander powder, red chili powder, turmeric and little salt. Fry for a couple of minutes.
5. Add the chopped tomatoes, cover the pan with lid and reduce the flame to medium-low.
6. Check after 7-8 minutes. Stir well and add a little water only if needed.
7. Adjust salt per taste, add garam masala. Garnish with chopped fresh coriander.

Note:  For all egg-lovers, you can conveniently toss the boiled eggs in the curry a few minutes before turning off the curry, it gives extra yumm :)

October 4, 2011

Easy Thai Noodles

For those who are wondering why the title says 'Easy', it surely is the easiest recipe for making noodles at homes. This Thai Noodles recipe is easy-peasy to make and a total no-brainer. This dish is a weekly-regular at my friends place who shared the recipe with me. I tried it tonight for the first time and it was so very yummy. Thank you Deepika for this super quick dinner fix :-)

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

wok noodles - 200g
eggs - 2 (veggies can skip this)
thai stir-fry mix - 200g
(chop: spring onion -2, green capsicum - 1/2, red chilies - 2, cabbage - 1/2 cup, red onion - 1 small)
white vinegar - 2 tsp
soy sauce - 1 tsp
chili sauce - 2 tsp
tasting salt - 1/4 tsp
black pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 2 tbsp

1. Add noodles to boiling water and cook for 3 to 4 minutes (or until cooked), then rinse briefly with cold water to keep from sticking and keep aside.
2. Heat up wok or large frying pan and add oil.
3. Break eggs in the heated oil and stir with a spatula until eggs are cooked (like scrambled eggs).
4. Add the chopped vegetable mix. Stir and leave for a minute.
5. Add vinegar, soy sauce, chili sauce, pepper and tasting salt. Toss well. And leave for 2 minutes.
6. Add salt to taste. Now add the cooked noodles and toss well for couple of minutes.
7. Remove wok from heat.

If you like your noodles extra spicy, accompany this with Thai chili sauce. ENJOY!

1. You can cook the noodles in advance, like, in the evening and keep them aside. Then just before making the dish rinse the noodles to separate them.
2. If you like the dish spicy add more red chilies in the veggie mix and add a lil more chili sauce.

September 26, 2011

Aloo Paratha

Home made aloo parathas are all time favorite for both me and krishna. We both literally missed them for past few months. And finally yesterday we relished our delicious aloo stuffed parathas after a long long time, along with our friends family. The kids also liked them.

Whole wheat flour - 4 cups
Potatoes - 6
Onions - 2
Red chili powder - 2 tsp
coriander powder - 1 tsp
garam masala - 1 tsp
fresh coriander leaves - a handful bunch
oil - 2 tbsp
ghee - 1 tbsp (optional)

1. Add little (1tsp) salt to the flour and knead it into soft dough. Make the dough at least an hour before rolling the parathas.
2. Pressure cook potatoes for 3 whistles. Do not over cook potatoes, they might get mushy.
3. Finely chop onions and coriander leaves.
4. Peel off cooked potatos, mash them without leaving any big lumps. Add chopped onion, coriander, red chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala and salt according to taste. Mix well.
5. Make medium-big size balls of this filling. (I usually make orange-sized balls)
6. Make same number of balls from the dough. The size of dough ball should not be bigger than that of filling.

7. Roll the dough ball into flat circle, a little thick not as thin as rotis. Place the potato stuff ball at the center and close the corners of circle to cover the filling.
8. Gently flatten the paratha. Do not try to make it very thin, the filling might come out.

9. Apply few drops of oil on a pan and roast this paratha on medium flame. After a minute turn to the other side and put a little more oil. Press gently on the fried surface with the spatula. Each paratha takes around 4 minutes to get completely done.
10. Smear a dash of ghee or butter on the hot paratha for extra yumm. This is purely optional, so we can diligently skip that part. :D

Enjoy the hot parathas with pickle or curd. :-)

Handy Tips:
 - Do not make the dough too soft like we make for rotis, rolling gets difficult. Add little water at a time and knead.
 - Finely chopped green chilies can be added while making the stuffing to make the parathas more spicy.

September 10, 2011

Prawns Biryani

Saturday we invited a family friends couple for lunch. They are visiting us for the first time. In fact we have not met each other before. So I was not very sure what to prepare for lunch. I know I cannot make an elaborate lunch with a baby and a boy to be taken care of. But at the same time, I could not settle for a single curry with rice. Then the Biryani came to my rescue. I prepared prawns biryani, mutton curry, rasam and rice. It was a hit. With these items we also had another friends' family for lunch which is totally unplanned. Hence, I love the Biryani :-)

I never thought I would learn to prepare biryani with an ease like I did today. It felt quite good as the end product came out tasty and is liked by everyone :-)
There are many versions of prawns biryani available, but the below recipe is what works for me. It's quick and convenient and there is almost zero chance of something going wrong.

Prawns - 250g
Basmati Rice - 3 cups
Onions - 3 medium sized
Tomato - 2 medium sized
Green chillies - 5
Ginger-Garlic paste - 2 tsp
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Red Chilly powder - 2 tsp

Ghee - 1 tsp
Oil - 2 tbsp
Fresh mint leaves - a handful
Cashew nuts - a handful (soak them in water)
Curd - 1/4 cup

Bay leaves - 3
Start anise - 2
Cardamom - 3
Cinnamon - 2 inch
Clove - 4
Shajeera - 1/4 tsp
Mace - 1/4 tsp

1. Wash and soak rice in warm water for a couple of hours.
2. Chop 1/2 onion length-wise, green chilies and fry in 1/2 tbsp oil and keep aside.
3. In the same pan, add the ghee and fry all the biryani spices and keep aside.
4. Take a thick bottomed pan (I use pressure pan). Add remaining 1 1/2 tbsp oil.
5. Chop the 1 1/2 onion and add to the oil.
6. When onions are caramalized, add ginger-garlic paste and fry for a couple of minutes.
7. Add turmeric powder, salt (just enough for the prawns gravy), red chilly powder, coriander powder and fry for a minute.
8. Add the cleaned prawns, and stir on a medium flame.
9. After a couple of minutes add the finely chopped tomatoes. When the gravy gets thick and starts leaving oil, add the smoothly beaten curd.
10. Add 5 1/2 cups of hot water to the gravy and bring it to boil.
11. Add the fried onions, fried spices, soaked cashews, enough salt for rice.
12. To the boiling water add the soaked basmati rice and close the pan with the lid.
13. Keep high flame for 5 minutes and then medium-low flame for 10 minutes and turn it off.
14. Let it stand for 15 minutes and the yummy biryani is ready to be served.

July 13, 2011

Banana Shake

How often do you crave for a midnight snack? Me, almost every time when I stay a bit late for watching some nice movie on TV !! This one makes an excellent and super quick option. And me n my husband simply love it. :)

All you need:
Banana (ripe ones) - 2 or 3
Milk - 2 cups
Vanilla flavored ice cream - 3 or 4 scoops

- cut banana into discs, put in blender and run it till becomes smooth
- add milk and ice cream and blend again for a minute

Ta Da .. your super yummy banana milk shake is ready. Enjoy it while watching that favorite movie of yours.

April 19, 2011

Palak-Soya Curry

Main Ingredients:
  • Palak (Spinach)
  • Soya Mince (Meallmaker)
  • Onions -2 No's
  • Green chillies- 4No's
  • Red Chilli powder
  • Haldi(Turmeric) - 1/2 tea spoon
  • Garlic-Ginger paste-3/4 tea spoon
  • Salt-1/2 tea spoon(as per requirement)
  • Dhaniya powder-1/2 tea spoon
  • Garam masala-1/2 tea spoon


1. Put required quantity of oil in a bowl and heat it for sometime
2. Put green chillies and fry
3. Put onions and fry till it becomes lite brown.
4. Put haldi - 1/2 tea spoon
5. Put garlic/ginger paste-3/4 tea spoon
6. Put red chilli powder-1 tea spoon
7. Put salt-1/2 tea spoon(as per requirement)
8. Put Dhaniya powder-1/2 tea spoon
9. Put Garam masala-1/2 tea spoon
10. Put Soya Mince(millmaker) and cook for 10 mins normally.
11. Finally put Palak and cook until palak & soya cooked properly.
12. Put the gas in low flame.