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

Jun 21, 2008

Recipe - Stuffed Baby Zuccini


Zucchini squash is a watery vegetable. Zucchini is found in yellow, light green and green colors. Zucchini is low in calories and good amounts of vitamin A and 1/2 a cup of Zucchini has 19% of required manganese. Source : Wikipedia

Stuffed zucchini is a very simple recipe and all my friends love this whenever I make it. In order to save time, I make the stuffing beforehand and mix it with roasted chickpea flour and roasted onion. My mom taught me to make stuffed chillies, eggplant/brinjal, ridge gourd (beerakaya) etc.. After coming to USA, I have started making stuffed zucchini for variety and now most of my friends like this curry and are a great fan of this curry.

I make stuffed zucchini with yellow and green squash. But make sure the squash is thin and shorter compared to the regular zucchini.


  • Baby Zucchini - 4
  • Onion - 1/2 cup
  • Curry powder - 4 tablespoons (heaping)
  • Chick peas flour (Besan) 2 tablespoons
  • Cilantoro - 2 tablespoons


Roast/Sautee onion in a skillet. Let the onions cool. Roast chick peas flour seperately, let it cool. Grind roasted onions, roasted chick pea flour and curry powder in a blender/mixie. Set it aside.

Wash and clean baby zuccini, make flour slits vertically. Add cilantro to the stuffing mixuter, mix well. Stuff in each zucchini.

Method to Roast:

Take a medium or large size pan or wide kadai/skillet. Preheat the oil on medium heat. Gently place the stuffed zucchinis on the pan and roast them well at medium temperature.

Serve hot with rotis or rice.

Preparation time : 15 - 20 minutes (if the Curry Powder is pre-made)
# Servings - 4


  • Curry powder preparation: Refer to Masala's/Chutney Powders under Labels.
  • You can also prepare the stuffing mix (any kind of curry powder) before hand and mix besan just before making this dish and adding roasted onions is an option.

Jun 20, 2008

Recipe - Macaroni and Cheese


Macaroni and Cheese is loved by most of the kids. Mac and cheese is very easy to make, kids eat without fussing. I make mac and cheese atleast once a week. Usually, I buy the mac and cheese packs, which comes with uncooked pasta/macaroni and the cheese sauce sachet (dry).

I learnt making the cheese sauce from my friend long back with estimation. Measurements are my contributions. I have noticed there are lot of recipes online with almost the same measurements. Making cheese sauce is fairly easy. After I learnt making the cheese sauce, I keep elbow macaroni stocked, and use it when ever needed.


  • Macaroni pasta - 1 cup
  • Cheese sauce - 1/2 cup
  • Salt - 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Oil - 1 teaspoon


Cook macaroni in 5 - 6 cups of boiling water at amedium high temperature, with salt and oil for 10 minutes. Set it aside.

Ingredients for cheese sauce:

  • Cheese (swiss or cheddar) - 1/4 cup (grated)
  • Milk - 1/4 cup
  • All purpose flour (Maida)- 1 tablespoon
  • Butter - 1 tablespoon
  • Salt - 1 pinch

Directions to make sauce:

Melt butter in a medium sauce pan at medium temperature. Add all purpose flour to the butter, mix it well. Stir continuously for 2 - 4 minutes and make sure the flour doesn't turn brown. Add milk slowly to the flour mixture, mix well. Let the milk and flour cook well for 8 - 10minutes (approximately), you will notice the milk thickening. Add cheese to the milk mixture, mix well till the cheese is melted. Add salt according to taste.

Add boiled/cooked macaroni to cheese sauce, mix well. Cook for 2minutes and turn off the stove.

Serve hot with some vegetable in the side, to make a complete nutritional meal.

Preparation time: 15 - 20 minutes
Servings: 2 - 3

Awards and Meme:

One more Meme! I have been tagged by skribles . I would like to tag






1. What was I doing ten years ago?

Finished studying at the University and was planning on starting work...

2. What are five things on my to-do list for today (non-work related)?

Taking kids to Swimming

Bike riding with the family

Taking kids to Park

Cooking, cleaning, organizing and all time job Laundry!!

Blogging and net surfing if any time left...

3. What are five snacks that I enjoy?

I am not really a snack person... but to name a few

Spicy kaju

Spicy JalapeƱo potato chips

4. What things would I do if I were a billionaire?

I would hire a full time help in the house. I would cook but the help will clean the kitchen, I will serve food to my family, but the help will clear the dinning table and clean the dishes, do laundry! I hope my husband is not reading, I have a house keeper, who cleans the house every week though! But, I would like it every day;-). Save the time for my family. Would invest in a business where it will multiply without scratching our brains (4 hr work week is my goal!!!).

5. Places I have lived at?

Hyderabad, Iowa, Austin, Southern California, Dallas, Northern California, Chicago and back to Iowa. Again Southern California is calling us...

6. Jobs I have had:
Student, now a systems administrator and a f
ull time wife PLUS full time mom to two young kids :-)

Jun 19, 2008

Recipe - Bangaladumpa Chips (aloo ke chips)

Potato chips


Potato chips are full of starch and oil. Its is junk food. But for mental health it is ok to eat junk food in moderation. My kids always tease me, asking, "Mom. you made junk food today?" Is it ok, to have junk food? Many more expressions of surprise.

I have always seen my mom making potato chips from my childhood. I always use to feel it is such a waste of time and energy to make it at home, it is better to buy it from a store. After marrying to my health conscious husband, I have also become health conscious and prefer to eat home made stuff than store bought. That doesn't mean I don't buy potato chips from store. I make potato chips to surprise my kids hahaha... The process is fairly easy, the result is a big surprise and a big hug from my kids.


  • Potato - 1
  • Salt - 1/4 teaspoon
  • Red chilli powder - 1/4 teaspoon
  • Oil to deep fry - 2 cups to deep fry


Make thin slices of potao with the help of slicer or with knife. I prefer the slicer. Knief kind of cuts it inuneven thinckness. The thicker the slick the soggier are the chips. I prefer to slice them very thin, to get the wafer taste and look.

Preheat oil in a skillet/kadai. I carefully slice potato into the kadai, as I am making the chips (that's how I learnt :-)). You can always slice them in the side and transfer the sliced potato into the kadai. Deep fry the chips on both side till they are well fried and just before they turn into golden brown. Remove them before they change their color, to retain the perfect color you want, else with the remaining hotness the chips will have burnt taste.

Remove chips on to a paper towel, to remove excess oil from the chips. Sprinkle salt, and red chilli powder. Let it cool before storing in an air tight container.

Shelf life - 1 -2 weeks
Preparation time 15 minutes

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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.