Jul 11, 2008

Recipe - Ministorne soup

Recipe - Minestrone Soup with vegetables and awards



Black beans have high level of protein, minerals and dietary fiber. The soluble fiber helps stabilize the blood sugar level and lower risk of heart disease.

Vegetable soup with pasta or sandwich is something, I cook regularly for dinners. I get my family to eat their veggies and protein in one meal. It helps them eat warm lunches/dinners during cold winter. Makes a very nutritious dinner with some salad or pasta in the side.

Thank you for all the awards showered.  I have been taking it easy as it is summer vacation for my kids and currently we are on vacation in LA. So will take a while to get back to the routine.

The big bear hug from Andhra flavours:

I would like to pass it on to SMN , Kamala, Asha and Rekha

Blogging with a purpose from Priti of Indian khana :

I would like to pass this on to Divya Vikram, Ramyabala ,Roopa ,Sagari


  • Black beans - 1/2 cup uncooked (1 cup canned or frozen)

  • Onion - 1/4 cup

  • Celery - 1/2 cup

  • Bell pepper - 1/2 cup

  • Yam - 1/2 cup

  • Zucchini - 1/2 cup

  • Green beans - 1/2 cup

  • Tomato - 1 cup (1 large tomato)

  • Spinach - 1/2 cup (frozen or any fresh greens)

  • Garlic - 2 or 3 cloves (according to taste)

  • Bay Leaf - 1 small

  • Whole Cumin - 1/2 teaspoon

  • Water - 4 cups

  • Salt - 3/4 teaspoon

  • Black Pepper - 1/4 teaspoon

  • Ground Cumin - 1/2 teaspoon

  • Butter/Ghee/Olive Oil - 1 teaspoon

  • Lemon Juice - according to taste (optional)


Preheat butter or olive oil in a soup pot or pressure cooker, splutter whole cumin seeds, add bay leaf.  Add
finely cut onions, celery and garlic and stir till aromatic.


Add all
the veggies, tomatoes, ground cumin, black pepper and salt.

Add 4 cups of water, spinach and cooked black beans/canned beans, bring to boil, lower heat and cover the dish, let it cook until cooked black beans are fully cooked with vegetables (20minutes).  Turn off the heat.

Add little lemon juice (optional).  Serve

Preparation time 30 minutes

# Servings: 4 - 6

Jul 1, 2008

Recipe - Chard parata/Akkura rottelu

Chard leaves paratas


Swiss chard is one of the most powerful anti-cancer foods. It has an excellent combination of phytochemicals, chlorophyll, other plant pigments, and soluble fiber. It also contains a generous amount of Vitamin K that is especially beneficial in the maintenance of bone health. Whole wheat flour has good dietary fiber. The combination is a healthy and nutritious meal.

Parata can be served as breakfast/lunch/dinner. My family enjoys paratas of any kind. Spinach can be used as variation for Chard leaves.


  • Wheat flour - 2 cups
  • Chard leaves - 2 cups
  • Green Chillies - 3 small Indian chillies
  • Carom seeds (ajwain) - 1 teaspoon
  • Salt - 1 teaspoon
  • Water - 1 cup
  • Cilantro - 1/4 cup


Knead all the above ingredients together except salt, slowly adding water to the flour. It's better not to add all the water into the flour. After the dough is kneaded, take a teaspoon of oil in your hand and apply it all over the dough. Set the dough aside for 20 - 30 minutes before making roti.

Method to roll Parata:

Get the tools ready - Tawa on the stove with medium high temperature. Rolling pin to make/roll rotis. All purpose flour in a 3/4 plate to lightly flour the dough in between during rolling the roti. Grilling rack if you are not using a gas stove. Tongs to flip the roti on the tawa and on the grilling rack. Make a big lemon size ball out of the dough.

Slightly flatten the ball sized dough and dip the flatten ball in the all purpose flour plate which is placed in the side. Place it on the lightly floured/clean surface and slowly roll the dough in a circular motion from the center. Make sure not to apply too much pressure while rolling. Apply ghee on the half rolled roti, sprinkle a pinch of salt.

Roll or fold it back in desired shaped. Layered folding of the dough results in fluffy and layered parata.

Continue rolling and lightly dust the roti/parata with flour if the parata is sticking to the surface. Too much dusting may spoil the taste of the parata too. It is important to roll the dough on one side only. Soon you will see the small ball of dough expand to 3 inches in diameter (just like a disc).

Method to cook Roti/Parata:

Preheat the tawa/cast iron pan on medium high. Transfer the ready parata on to the pan and wait for 10-15 seconds. You will see small bubbles forming on the parata.

Flip the parata on to the other side and wait for 15 - 30 seconds.

Apply ghee/clarified butter. Cook both sides of the roti and ensure parata is well cooked.

Serve hot with any spicy pickle, curry or yogurt in the side.

Preparation time - 10 - 20 minutes

# Paratas: 10 (depending on the size)

Jun 28, 2008

Recipe - Carrot and Toor dal curry (Carrot kandi pappu koora/Carrot poriyal/Gajar ki sabzi)

Carrots cooked with Pigeon Peas


Carrots can be eaten in different ways, raw, steamed, in soups, in cakes or in sweets like carrot halwa. Carrot is high in dietary fiber,antioxidants, beta carotene and vitamin A. It is believed that consuming carrots makes a persons eye sight better. I cook and feed my family carrot in all the different forms to take advantage of the nutritional value of carrots.

Vegetable cooking with dal is a very common practise in south India. My kids love this dish, as it has little or no spice added.

Carrot curry prepared with dal should not be spicy. Do not add red chilli powder or any kind of extra spices to this. This curry has a nice flavor to itself with the combination of dal and vegetable. One dish covers it all.

As it is summer vacation in the US, I am quite busy with kids schedule and my work schedule, I am also planning on going to California for vacation. So, I will be posting recipe, whenever time permits, I will try and post at least two or three recipes a week. Thank you for the readership!!! I appreciate it.


  • Carrots - 4 cups approximately (shredded/cut)
  • Curry leaves - 1 stalk
  • Turmeric - 1/4 teaspoon
  • Coconut - 2 heaping tablespoons (grated or powder)
  • Toor dal - 1/2 cup (pressure cook 1/2 cup of dal with 1 cup of water for 1 whistle)


  • Chana dal (bengal gram) - 1 tablespoon
  • Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
  • Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
  • Hing (asafoetida) - 1/4 teaspoon
  • Red chillies - 1
  • Oil - 1 tablespoon.


Preheat wok/kadai with oil at medium high temperature. Add chana dal, cumin and mustard seeds. Let seeds splutter. Add red chillies, hing and curry leaves. Let the chillies roast for few seconds. Add carrots to the seasoning. Cover carrots, cook them for 5 minutes at medium high temperature.

Now add pre-cooked toor dal to the half cooked carrots seasoning. Mix well, cook for 5 - 10 minutes to ensure all the ingredients are cooked well.

Once carrot curry is cooked, add grated coconut. Mix it well and turn off the stove.

Decorate/Garnish with coconut powder. Serve hot with rice or roti.

Preparation time - 20 - 30 minutes.
# Servings - 4 - 6

Jun 25, 2008

Recipe - Panini Sandwiches


Panini is one of my husbands favorite sandwiches. Whenever we go out to eat, this is something he orders with soup or salad in the side. These sandwiches taste great with sour dough bread and hot soup in the side in winter and with a salad on the side in summer.

I bought the panini sandwich maker couple of years ago and ever since, he enjoys the home made sandwiches more. I use the sandwich maker for paneer tikka and different variates. My kids have started enjoying Panini too. Making panini for dinner saves my time on a busy day, having pesto sauce ready in the fridge, saute vegetable and just press them in the sandwich maker, the dinner is READY! You can make panini on the regular tawa too, you will have to flip the sandwich and toast the bread on the second side.


  • Sour dough bread - 8 slices
  • Salt - 3/4 teaspoon
  • Black pepper - 1/4 teaspoon
  • Butter - 1 teaspoon
  • Parmesan Cheese - 1 cup
  • Pesto sauce - 4 teaspoons
  • Zucchini - 1 cup
  • Carrots - 1 cup
  • Broccoli - 10 florets
  • Bell pepper - 1/2 cup
Any vegetable of your choice...


Preheat butter in a skillet/wok, add chopped vegetables. Stir fry the vegetable well, add salt and black pepper. Sautee till the vegetable are cooked well. For flavor, I sometimes add 1/2 teaspoon of oregano (optional).

Apply pesto sauce on one side of a bread slice, place the other side on the grill facing the pesto sauce up. Add the sauted vegetables on top of the pesto sauce, add parmesan cheese. Place the second bread slice on the top and press/close the sandwich maker.

In 2 minutes the sandwich will be ready to serve with melted cheese over the veggies. Serve hot with salad or hot soup in the side!

Preparation time: 15 - 20 minutes
Servings: 4

Jun 24, 2008

Recipe - Dill and moong dal

(Dill/fennel leaves cooked in Moong dal)


"Fresh and dried dill leaves (sometimes called "dill weed" to distinguish it from dill seed) are used as herbs.

Like caraway, its fernlike leaves are aromatic, and are used to flavor many foods, such as gravlax (cured salmon), borscht and other soups, and pickles (where sometimes the dill flower is used). Dill is said to be best when used fresh, as it loses its flavor rapidly if dried; however, freeze-dried dill leaves preserve their flavor relatively well for a few months.

In the Middle Ages, dill was thought to protect against witchcraft.[citation needed]

Dill seed is used as a spice, with a flavor similar to caraway.

Dill oil can be extracted from the leaves, stems and seeds of the plant.

Dill can also be used to help cure both insomnia and bad breath. Sometimes dill is made into a tea to help cure an upset stomach."

Source : Wikipedia.

Cooking dill and moong dal together is a healthy recipe for the hot summer. It is soothing for the summer diet. Do not over cook dill. I always add dill at the end of the cooking to retain the taste, flavor and nutrients of the vegetable.


  • Dill leaves - 1 bunch (approximately 2 cups)
  • Moong dal - 1 cup

  • Dry red chillies - 1(optional)
  • Turmeric - 1/2 - 1 teaspoon
  • Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon (for seasoning)
  • Hing (Asafoetida )- 1/4 teaspoon)
  • Salt - 1 and 1/2 teaspoons (according to taste)
  • Ghee/Oil - 2 teaspoon
  • Lemon juice - 1 tablespoon (optional)
  • Water - 3 cups (to cook)


Wash dal and add 2.5 cups of water add salt and turmeric. Pressure cook dal for 2 whistles. The temperature should be medium high to high. Chop fennel leaves and set them aside. Use the tender stems and tender bulbs too.


Preheat with oil in a kadai (skillet). Add cumin seeds and mustard seeds for seasoning. After you see the seasoning seeds splutter, add red chillies (optional) and hing (Asafoetida). If you are using red chillies and green chillies, better to avoid red chilli powder.

Add seasoning to dal and chopped fresh dill leaves, add 1/2 cup water to get the desired consistency. Cook it for 5 minutes. Add lemon juice, mix well, turn off the stove.

Serve hot with rice or roti.

Preparation time: 20minutes.
# Servings 3 - 4

Jun 23, 2008

Recipe - Aloo pakora chaat (Bangaladumpa bajji)

(Potato fritter dipped in chickpea flour)


Potato fritter/Aloo ke pakode reminds me of my childhood days. When I was young, I couldn't handle the mirchi bajji hotness, and my mom prepared these for me and all of them use to eat mirchi bajji. The base of this recipe allows you to make different kinds of fritters with Mirchi, Onion, Green pepper, Raw Plantain, Eggplant, Cauliflower, Fresh leaf spinach and so on...


  • Besan (gram flour/chickpea flour) - 1 cup
  • Potato - 2 medium size (sliced thin)
  • Chopped Onion - 1 cup thinly chopped
  • Chopped Tomato - 1/4 cup
  • Cilantro - 1 tablespoon
  • Green chillies - 1 finely chopped (optional)
  • Red chilly powder - 1/2 teaspoon (according to spice level)
  • Lemon juice - 1 tablespoon
  • Chaat masala - 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt to taste - 1/2 teaspoon


Preparing the batter to dip potato slices:
  • Besan (gram flour) - 1 cup
  • Red chilly power - 1/2 teaspoon.
  • Salt according to taste - approximately - 1/2 teaspoon.
  • Water little less than 1/2 cup approximately.
  • Mix them in a wide bowl, vegetables are easy to dip.
  • Prepare medium thick batter consistency slowly adding water to it.


Take 3 cups of oil in a deep bottomed skillet. Heat the oil on medium-high. Dip the potato slice one at a time in the batter so that potato slices are well coated with the batter.

Gently drop them in the skillet and deep fry until golden.

Remove them on to a paper towel covered plate to soak the excess oil and let it cool a minute or two.

Take the chopped onions, tomatoes, cilantro, green chillies (optional) to the cut bite size pakoras and mix all of them in a bowl.

After mixing all of the above in the bowl, garnish the pakora chaat with lemon juice, red chilli powder (according to spice level), 1/2 teaspoon chaat masala. and a little salt to taste. ENJOY!....
Preparation time 20 minutes

# Servings - 2 - 4

Jun 22, 2008

Recipe- Methi and moong dal with tomatoes

Fenugreek leaves and moong dal with tomatoes


Fenugreek leaves or fenugreek is a natural remedy for migrane, asthma. Fenugreek reduces blood glucose levels, also reduces blood cholesterol. Source : Wikipedia.
Methi/Fenugreek leaves can be grown outside the kitchen in a pot. Sprinkle methi/fenugreek seeds in the pot, add some potting soil on the top (not more than an inch). Water the seeds on a regular basis, you will see methi leaves growing within a week or two and can be used fresh whenever desired.

Adding moong dal to methi is the result of nutritious side dish, which has greens and protein. Methi dal can be eaten with roti or rice. Home grown methi has its freshness. Lot of my friends asked me if , adding fenugreek leaves makes the dal bitter. Adding fenugreek gives a nice flavor to dal but not bitterness.


  • Fenugreek leaves/Methi leaves - 1cup (chopped)
  • Moong dal - 1 cup
  • Tomatoes - 1 cup
  • Green Chillies - 1 nos
  • Dry red chillies - 1 (optional)
  • Red chilli powder - 1/2 teaspoon (optional)
  • Turmeric - 1/2 - 1 teaspoon
  • Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon (for seasoning)
  • Hing (Asafoetida )- 1/4 teaspoon)
  • Salt - 1 teaspoons (according to taste)
  • Ghee/Oil - 2 teaspoon
  • Water - 3 cups (to cook)
  • Lemon juice - 1 table spoon (optional)


Wash dal and add 2.5 cups of water and add chopped methi leaves, tomato, salt, turmeric and green chillies. Pressure cook dal for 2 whistles. The temperature should be medium high to high.


Preheat with oil in a kadai (skillet). Add cumin seeds and mustard seeds for seasoning. After you see the seasoning seeds splutter, add red chillies (optional) and hing (Asafoetida). If you are using red chillies and green chillies, better to avoid red chilli powder.

Add seasoning to the dal, add 1/2 cup water to get the desired consistency. Cook it for 5 minutes.

Add lemon juice. Turn off the stove. Serve hot with rice or roti.

Preparation time: 30minutes.
# Servings 4 - 6

Online Shops


Some of the recipes presented here are originally inspired by others. Credit is given to the original postings. I have listed recipes here for my own reference as well as pictures are my addition to the whole cooking experience. Enjoy.