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Monthly Archives: May 2008

on an impromptu break….. and reminder for WBB

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this is just one of those things that happen when you least expect it!! my in laws are here and we had planned a week’s trip, first to the temple town of Tirumala, the richest pilgrimage place in the world (and a nightmare where crowds are concerned!!)…..and a few days in chennai to meet with family…..but as luck would have it…my laptop has konked off and will take till i get back on home ground to be fixed….with all the visiting we’ve been doing, there’s hardly any time to do anything else anyways….so am on a blogging break till 28th and hopefully will get back after that…in the meanwhile, please keep sending me your entries to WBB….i am recieving the entries, but may not be able to get back immediately…will do so once i am back….but let the madness for mangoes not stop!!


How to use leftover Pav Bhaji ~ Stuffed Grilled Sandwich Recipe

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Pav Bhaji Stuffed Grilled Sandwich

Pav Bhaji Stuffed Grilled Sandwich

the thing about being an over enthusiastic cook (over enthu cutlet, in the words of a dear friend) is that we sometimes cook more than what can be had at one meal……..if this is by design, then great cos you have cooked for another meal and saved yourself some trouble…but if it happens by default, then mentally you arent prepared to have leftovers and dealing with that can be daunting……..

A few weeks ago, we had pav bhaji for dinner made from the recipe from one of the hottest stoves in the cyberworld…..following nupur’s instructions to the T has gained me many wah wah’s on all the occassions i have made it……. I made more than what we could finish for dinner….i stuck the remanants in the fridge and that was that…two days later….the eternal question of “what shall we have for breakfast” was asked….and the answer any one is dishing up meals dreads to hear “anything” was heard….in no particular mood to do any elaborate cooking, the leftover pav bhaji came to my rescue…..while I am not particularly fond of leftovers, I am equally unwilling to trash perfectly good food….i also refuse to leave stuff to languish and go all fuzzy and green….

Toasted sandwiches are a big draw in our family….it used to be the only travel food we ate for almost all the years we travelled by train….and more importantly when the indian railways didn’t always have food to be served during the journey…..the versatility of the sandwich ensured we didn’t get bored of it…it was easy to make, carry and totally mess free to eat…..we have a contraption which is used on the stove top…..the one I have is courtesy my mom and I have no clue where she bought it….it is non stick….and can turn bread from blah to wah in a couple of minutes…..

Pav Bhaji Stuffed Grilled Sandwich

Pav Bhaji Stuffed Grilled Sandwich

I have also stuffed pita bread and pizza bases and toasted them this way….all times the end result is excellent…this time i used the pav bhaji…..any other spicy semi dry curry of choice, egg bhurjee, slices of cucumber, tomato, cheese………the fillings can be anything that tickles your fancy …..they all work great…….

needless to say, we had a satiating breakfast…..and this is also my entry to the Sandwich Festival on at Anupama’s Food n More……

pav bhaji grilled sandwich (serves 2)

8 slices bread ( i used whole wheat)

16 T pav bhaji made using Nupur’s recipe (or any other filling of choice)

lay the grill with a slice of bread, put 1-1 1/2 T of filling in it, cover with another slice of bread, close the grill, toast on both sides for 30-45 seconds till golden brown. remove from toaster / grill, cut diagonally and served hot with sauce of choice.

Recipe for Raw Papaya Thoran ~ Kerala Style

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amma, as you all know was here for a month….after many months of nagging…she managed to tear herself away from her grand-daughter and give me the pleasure of her company….

the good thing about her being with me….is that i have a willing guinea pig for my culinary experiments….. a few days ago….i cut into a papaya, and found that it wasn’t ripe enough to be eaten at breakfast….i was angry with the fruit seller…and more with myself, because i failed to wait patiently another day till it was really ready to be eaten…..for a long time now I have been eying some recipes with papaya…raw and ripe…..but wondered if K would be subjected to it….with just two people at the table, it is a big pain in the you know where if one doesn’t like / relish the food that’s been made….so I wondered aloud if I should make a curry / stir fry out of it….and K groaned!! Amma egged me on….giving some testimonials of a few random friends who’d tried it and sang praises….

i wasnt too sure about what to do, lurked around blogs and finally found this recipe at Bharathy’s Spicy chilly I followed this recipe with minor changes (but naturally) using vegetable oil instead of coconut and adding a few drops of coconut for the flavour….what amazed me is that the whole preparation, cooking to serving took less than 12 minutes!! I kid you not!! I am a great advocate of the steaming and stir fry method of cooking because it is not just healthy, but saves time and retains the flavour of the food…. but this one zapped me!! I usually make most veggies like beans, carrot, cabbage, etc the poriyal way…..steam for a few minutes (usually in the microwave oven while I ready the other stuff), temper, stir fry, add the salt and seasonings, grated coconut and serve…..this is my first attempt at the thoran….i admit, I was wondering how the ground masala would taste….i was stumped!! This is going to get onto my everyday way of cooking….minus the ton of fresh coconut though!!

The papaya was semi ripe…which meant that the taste and texture was very similar to yellow pumpkin….

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Dahi Vada Recipe

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When amma is here with me, I always try and make some stuff which she loved to make and feed us as kids, but now because of her eyesight she can’t…..she loves watching me in the kitchen and will stay perched on a morra while I keep up with the experiments….all the while talking nonstop….filling me in on family gossip, stories that are a blast from the past and just about anything else…..she refuses to sit quietly….offering her help while I shoo her into a corner….she claims that shes not used to ‘idle time’ …infact given half an opportunity, she will insist on making atleast one meal per day….. each time she stays with me, I discover something about her that I was totally blind to earlier….i know that’s shocking considering how long we’ve lived together, and the relationship we share….but sometimes, we take for granted the things closest to us….people and relationships more importantly…..on one of her trips, I discovered she totally digs Dahi vadas…..i mean like, she can eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner…. I never had noticed this…ever!! I swear!! The last thing I’d have guessed was that dahi vada can make my mother almost loony!! Since I am a little watchful about deep fried stuff, I sacrifice items like puris and papads to fry these orbs of delight for my mother atleast once during each of her stays…though it needs a little preparation; they are well worth the effort.

thanks mansi for suggesting that i send this over to your Monthly Mingle….this month is all about appetizers and hors’deouvres . Dahi vada is a sure fire party hit!! MM is the brainchild of Meeta and this month hops over to Fun and Food

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Dal Dhokli and Makai ki Sabzi Recipe ~ for RCI – Rajasthan

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Dal Dhokli

Makai ki sabzi

Ever put off something till the context completely changes and you don’t know if you want to finish what you decided to do or abandon?? That’s exactly what I am going through now…..i have had such an eventfulfew weeks that I had to put off doing what I planned to cook for RCI: rajasthan till two days ago….and when I was finally ready with the post, the same evening, Jaipur the capital of Rajasthan was rocked by several serial bombs that have taken many lives and injured many people…….while I couldn’t believe what I was seeing on the television, I completely forgot about my post…..and this morning, I wondered if I should or should not post what I wanted to say and do….

Sounds frivolous for me to be extolling the fragrance and flavour of what I made, while there are people mourning the loss of lives, loved ones and livelihood, while still many hundreds come to terms with this reality of terror…… no one will know why all that happened did happen…..the pink city….drenched in innocent blood…..the community of people who epitomize colour, covered in a way that sends more than just a shiver down my spine…..the people, the crafts, the grandeur, the flavours and smells of one of the most vibrant places on earth, today not knowing why their joie de vivre is snatched away from them…….

I have never been to Rajasthan….and it was on my “places to see before I can’t walk” list for a while now……K and I planned a trip there this sept and god willing we will still go….to the desserts, to the people so talented, so full of life and colour and spirit… heart goes out to all of them….for their loss, which is every bit ours…..i hope for the people, the resilience to bounce back…..and not allow the people who did this, the triumph of crippling our soul…….

The earlier post is here

When foodie events are announced all over the blogosphere, I always feel a little excited and my mind more than wants to participate….however, life sometimes has a way of kicking you a little harder and telling you that no matter how obsessed you may be with blogosphere, there is a real life to live and for most part of the time you can regretfully participate by doing a round of the round ups!!

So plans were made and research done to defy all this……because there were these two recipes that I knew I wouldn’t get down to making ever if I passed up this opportunity……and yet I found myself scrambling at the last minute…….considering I am hosting an event this month…..i just hope I fall into a minority category of truant food bloggers, or the good doctor will have my head on a plate!!

Makai ki sabzi and dal dhokli were my chosen two….makai because I have never used corn when I cook tho I always order it when we are eating out….and the picture in the book looked so tempting, the gravy creamy and flavourful and crying out for some hot rotis…..and dal dhokli cos I had it at A’s house one afternoon and I loved it……the creamy texture of the cooked rotis in the flavourful dal (with that much of ghee!! It had better be!!) And I kept telling her over mouthfuls, that it was indian pasta, such a filling meal and so nutritious…… but I had all these demons of imminent disaster over me looming large…..

I made them on two consecutive days and now I realize that the pictures look so similar!! Or maybe all curried and gravied indian food looks the same…..the Makai ki sabzi was spicy and the sharp flavours make it a good dish to put on a party buffet, best eaten with a light pulao or rotis.

And the dal dhokli is something that could quite easily become a part of those times when pasta is all that

can satisfy me!! The warm tangy flavour of the dal, mingling with the ghee seduced spices….ohh!! awesome….and total comfort food……infact when I asked A to mail me her recipe,

she began the mail with “ghee….lots of it” and warned that it would be a waste to

scrimp on it while making this…….tells me how much the cuisine of this royal land is influenced by what else!! Royalty!! Everything is rich, flavourful,

exotic…not to mention cooked in pure ghee! These two are my entries to RCI – Rajasthan…..being hosted by Padmaja of Spicy Andhra….RCI celebrates regional cuisine each month and is the brain child of Lakshmi of veggie cuisine. dal dhokli is also my entry to valli’s roti rendezvous….join her at the roti mela….she dished up quite a storm with the dosa mela last month!!

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Sharjah Milkshake Recipe

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the thing about living in a hostel when you are a student living too far away from your hometown to be able to go back and forth during long weekends is, it exposes you to many things…..some good, some not so….but everything teaches you a lesson that you will never forget for the rest of your life……so the longish weekends I’d have at my disposal, I spent accepting every invitation from friends and classmates to visit their homes……the memories and experiences and some of the pictures that I managed are priceless……it also gave me the fabulous opportunity to partake of many meals lovingly prepared, many conversations and a peek into other people’s lives……..

The first time I visited kerala, was on one such weekend…..i remember it was the easter weekend….and I had my first full scale exposure to the heat, humidity, food, people and festivals of this state…..i was in love!! I can recall almost everything that I did those three days…..the food I ate and the walks on the beaches…..i also first sipped a milkshake in a beer mug!! Sharjah shake …… I don’t know how this drink got this name……I have asked around and checked on the internet….haven’t found any conclusive information….suffice to say that the intriguing name apart, this is one must do – must taste when one is in God’s own country…….apparently the birth of this drink happened in Calicut, circa unknown….and its popularity is spreading all over the state….. the ingredients are simple and available in abundance……made of milk and bananas, and frozen milk that gives it an amazing consistency, it makes for a refreshingly cool

indulgence that good for your bones too……sharjah shake is my entry to Beautiful Bones: an Osteoporosis Food Event, hosted by the lovely Food blogga Susan……the event calls for a calcium rich recipe to be made and posted in the month of may which is the osteoporosis awareness month…….milk is a rich source of calcium and so are bananas… Susan, this is being whipped up specially for you!!

To make the Sharjah Shake to serve two in regular glasses or one in a beer mug!!

(This is my version with lesser sugar)

500 mls frozen milk (I used low fat)

2 ripe bananas (about 1 cup of slices)

1-2 t sugar

A pinch of powdered cardamom seeds

1T bournvita (substitute with boost/ drinking chocolate or any malt / chocolate based drink)

In a blender jar, add all of the above ingredients and blend till everything is well incorporated and liquefied. Pour into glasses and serve immediately.

Seasonal twist on an old favourite ~ Raw Mango and Coconut Chutney Recipe

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i have had the most hectic few weeks in a long time…..sometimes barely being able to meet deadlines and other commitments…..its been a roller coaster….and now that its over….i miss it all!! i miss my momma!!

one of the nicest things about having your mother around is all the food…cooked and served up!! plus there is all the shopping and the talking that goes on without a break!!

with the summers here and my attempt to try and eat what is seasonal (but that is an oxymoron these days!! strawberries in the summer and mangoes in sept!!) i find myself making this chutney a couple of times a week atleast while raw mangoes are still available… puts a twist on our favourite idli and dosai accompaniment of fresh coconut chutney and gives it quite a flavour kick!! even k who isnt particulary fond of sour stuff was seen reaching for refills…..tangy, spicy and just the right dose of colour, green mango and coconut chutney is my entry to WBB#22 – May Mango Madness that has come to perch at Escapades for thi s edition after spreading its wings from Saffron Trails where its genesis lies.

raw mango chutney ingredients

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