November 2, 2014

Veggi Rice with Soy Buttons

I am back with yet another one pot meal, which is simple, nutritious and tasty at the same time. This dish appears on our dinner table at least a couple of times during every week. Two main reasons being, one - it has perfect balance of carbs, proteins and vitamins, two - my little girl loves it. :-) Now, quickly coming to the recipe part..


  • Rice - 1 cup
  • Yellow Split Moong Dal - 1 fistful
  • Fresh or Frozen Green Peas (quick cook) - 1/2 cup
  • Carrot finely chopped - 1/2cup
  • Soy buttons - 1 cup
  • Onion (chopped length wise) - 1
  • Green chillies (trimmed at edges) - 1 or 2
  • Garlic - 2 cloves, chopped as chunks
  • Fresh coriander leaves
  • Salt
  • Oil + Ghee - 2 teaspoons

Whole Spices:

  • Shajeera - a pinch
  • Cinnamon - a small piece
  • Cloves - 2
  • Cardamom - 1
  • Bay leaf - 1


  1. Wash the rice and moong dal a couple of times and soak in warm water.
  2. Wash the soy buttons a couple of times and soak in hot water.
  3. Put the pressure pan cooker on the stove top. Add oil and ghee.
  4. When oil is warm, add the whole spices one after the other in the same order as they listed above.
  5. After a minute, add garlic, green chillies and onion. Let them fry for a couple of minutes.
  6. Add carrots and peas. Squeeze the water out from soy buttons and add them to the veggies in the pan. Add some salt and keep stirring them together for 3 to 4 minutes.
  7. Now add the rice+dal. Mix everything together and let it be for a minute. Add 2 cups water, enough salt to the rice and add finely chopped coriander.
  8. Now, close the lid of pressure pan. DO NOT PUT THE WEIGHT. 
  9. Put the high flame until the pressure builds up inside the cooker and steam starts escaping out from the top nozzle of cooker. Now reduce the flame to lowest possible and let it be cooked. Turn the flame off after 12 to 15 minutes. 
  10. Open the lid after a couple of minutes and fluff the rice with a fork. 
Ready to be served!! 
It doesn't need an accompaniment when eaten readily after cooking, when still warm. Otherwise, can be eaten along with a side serving of pickle or yoghurt or some raita.

Some Useful Notes:

  • Soy chunks makes this dish nutritious and protein rich, which is otherwise a simple one. If you carefully watch the measurements, the rice quantity is less than half of the veggies and soy put together. 
  • We can add/remove any vegetables of our choice like, beans, potato, capsicum etc..
  • Following the exact measures will make the dish very mild, but quite enjoyable for a family with kids. The spice level can increased to individual's taste by simply adding the garam masala during the steps 6 or 7.
  • Soy buttons are simply bite sized chunks of soy. Soaking in hot water for few minutes makes them softer and squeezing the water out will remove its strange smell :-) 

Andhra Fish Pulusu (Fish cooked in tamarind pulp)

Ingredient List

For marinade:

  • Fish pieces - 1.5 kg
  • Salt - 1 teaspoon (small spoon)
  • Turmeric powder - a little
  • Red chilli powder - 2 teaspoon
  • Ginger-garlic paste - 1 tablespoon (huge spoon ;) )
  • Curry leaves (optional)

For cooking:

  • Onions - 3 
  • Green chillies - 3 or more
  • Tamarind pulp - 2 tablespoons
  • Jeera - a pinch
  • Methi seeds - 2 pinches
  • Ginger garlic paste - 1tablespoon
  • Red chilli powder
  • Jeera powder - 1 teaspoon
  • Kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves, this is the real flavor enhancer of the dish) - 1 teaspoon
  • Sunflower oil - 3 tablespoons


  1. Marinade: Into a bowl, take the cut and cleaned fish pieces and apply salt, turmeric, red chilli powder, ginger-garlic paste to them. Set aside until used.
  2. In a wide pan, heat 3 tablespoons oil, add jeera and methi seeds. After a minute, add slit green chillies and finely chopped onions. On medium flame, fry onions until light brown.
  3. Add turmeric powder, jeera powder, red chilli powder and ginger-garlic paste. Fry for a couple of minutes until the raw smell of ginger-garlic is gone.
  4. Now lay the fish chunks on the bed of fried onions, in a single layer if possible. Let them fry on a medium heat, after a few minutes turn each piece to the other side and fry.
  5. Add the tamarind pulp and one or two cups of water until the pieces are barely covered in water. Add salt and let it boil on high heat for a few minutes. 
  6. Take the dried methi leaves between two palms and rub it into the boiling soup. Reduce the heat and let it boil for a good few minutes, this is the time to adjust salt and red chilli if more spice level is desired.


  • This same procedure can be followed with the fish filet as well. But the taste varies from fish to fish! :-)
  • Step 4 is a bit tricky, the fish chunks need to be cooked on both sides until they don't look raw/transparent any more. When done, immediately add tamarind pulp. Tamarind helps in keeping fish chunks intact and prevents further breaking into pieces.

January 4, 2014

Banana Cake with Chocolate chips

When I look back at my baking trail, I clearly see a pattern. First, I find a convincing recipe. Next, I give it a try. If I am happy with the whole process of baking it and the taste, I repeat it. I keep doing the same cake again and again, until at one point I get bored with it. Then I start looking for a new recipe and the cycle repeats itself! This has been true for my vanilla, chocolate and orange cakes. After I baked the orange cake through out the summer and then some more, my restlessness for a fresh new recipe came back. I kept searching each and every food blog that I follow for a recipe, but nothing clicked with me. And then, when I almost lost my hope, something caught my attention. Wait, a banana cake? I was skeptical. But one of the ingredients looked very promising! It's peanut butter!! I couldn't let it go. After a lot of mulling over the recipe, I made up my mind to give it a try. One fine afternoon, when the kid was in a good spirit to bake along with me, we baked it! Ta Da, it happened to be my next cake in the order :-)

  • ripe bananas - 2 or 3 
  • yogurt - 1/3 cup
  • peanut butter - 1/3 cup
  • oil - 3 tablespoons
  • eggs - 2
  • all purpose flour - 1 cup
  • sugar - 1/2 cup
  • baking soda - 3/4 teaspoon
  • vanilla - 1 teaspoon
  • chocolate chips (preferably dark) - 1/3 cup
  1. Pre-heat the oven at 180 degrees.
  2. Mash the bananas using a fork and spoon in the peanut butter and mix thoroughly so that there are no lumps. Add yogurt to it and give it a nice mix.
  3. Sieve the flour and baking soda together, so that they are well mixed and there are no lumps.
  4. In a mixing bowl beat the eggs and sugar until it becomes frothy. Add in oil and vanilla. 
  5. Add flour to this and combine well. Tip in the mashed banana mix and combine together well.
  6. Stir in the chocolate chips and pour the mix into the greased-dusted cake tin. Sprinkle more choco chips on the top and bake it for 30 minutes or until the tooth pick comes out clean.
Simple, isn't it!

Little musings:
  • Unlike my other earlier cakes, this cake tasted best the next day after baking, when it is no longer warm. I think by then, the flavor of banana n chocolate chips mingled and infused in the cake.
  • Choco chips are the best thing that ever happened to this cake.
  • Peanut butter is the ingredient which secretly done its part to balance the flavors of the cake.
  • I think this cake is kind of opposite to the orange cake which is spongy delicate and feels like sunny. This banana cake is dense and something else, intense like winter evenings!
  • I am so glad most of my girl friends liked this cake, found it very tasty and thought its quite an interesting combination. For all of you, here's the recipe! Give it a try and have fun, just like I did :-)