Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Matzo (Matza) Bread

Yesterday being Passover, I baked the Matzo(or Matza) bread - the unleavened bread specialty for the Jewish festival. At our home we try to celebrate the festivals of all religions, at least in cooking.
Serves 8
All purpose flour (maida) - 2 1/4 cup
Butter - 3/4 cup (straight from the freezer)
Egg - 1 no
Milk - 1/2 cup
Onion powder - 1/2 tbs
Salt - 1/2 tbs
Chilli powder - 1/8 tsp (optional)

  1. Slice the butter to thin pieces
  2. Put the butter and the all purpose flour in the food processor and blend it well till it becomes the consistency of bread crumbs
  3. Mix the onion powder, chilli powder and salt into the milk
  4. Beat the egg well and add this to the above
  5. Now add the above liquid mix to the flour-butter mix and make it into a dough
  6. Divide this into two balls and roll it into a 1/4 inch thick slabs using a rolling pin
  7. Cut this into small pieces and transfer to a cookie sheet
  8. Prick the surface of the bread with a fork so that it doesn't rise
  9. Heat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and  bake for 10-12 minutes or till it starts to turn golden.
  10. Cool it
This tastes good as such or you can have this with a dip of your choice.

Health Sandwich

Here is the recipe for a simple, delicious and healthy sandwich, that would be loved by both kids and adults alike.
Serves 4
Bread slices - 8 nos (or you can use 4 sandwich buns)
Thick,fresh curd - 1 cup ( or you can use cream cheese - 4tbs)
Sprouted green bean (mung bean) - 1/2 cup
Grated carrots - 1 tbs
Chopped onion - 1 tbs
Chopped Green chillies - 1/2 tbs
Chopped Cucumber - 2 tbsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Pepper - 1/4 tsp
Chilli sauce - 1/2 tsp
Tomato sauce - 2 tbsp
Cheese slices - 4 nos (I have used grated  cheddar cheese) - optional


  1. Pour the curd into a sieve and keep aside for 1/2 an hour to drain all the water. 
  2. Mix all the chopped ingredients, salt, pepper and sprouts together
  3. Take a slice of bread, apply the curd /cream cheese on it and spread a tablespoon of the vegetable mixture over it
  4. Mix the Chilli and tomato sauces together
  5. Spread the sauce mix lightly over the second slice of bread. 
  6. If you are using the cheese slice, you can put that over the vegetable mix or if using grated cheese, mix it with the vegetable mix in step 2
  7. Put the two slices together and press lightly
I am entering this to the "My Legume Love Affair Contest" by Mirch Masala

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bitter gourd Curry

This is one of my  Mom's specials, which my husband and I like so much. So I got the recipe from her and tried it myself, and it turned out so well that we now makes it once in a while. This is made almost like a Kerala fish curry using coconut milk. So for those of you who likes Bitter gourd and a spicy coconut milk curry, this is a must try curry.
1 Bitter gourd - big
2 Tomatoes
1"piece of Ginger
3 Shallots
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1tbs coriender powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
Few curry leaves
Salt to taste
1 tbs coconut oil
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
Cut the Bitter gourd and tomatoes into small pieces. Take a heavy bottom pan and put the Bitter gourd and tomatoes  pieces along with ginger and all the spices with one cup of water and salt. Cook on medium heat with the pan covered till the bitter gourd is almost done. Now add the coconut milk and simmer for a few more minutes till the gravy thickens. In another pan heat the oil and brown the shallots and crisp the curry leaves and add this to the curry.
This goes well with rice.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Puri is a favorite dish of my daughter and us, but we make it only once in two months or so as it requires deep frying.This makes it even more dearer for my daughter.
2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup water (lukewarm) or as required
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon oil
Oil to deep fry
Mix flour and salt . Add water as needed to make firm dough.Add the oil and knead the dough . Dough for puri should be firm and smooth.
Set the dough aside and cover with a damp cloth. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes or longer.
Divide the dough in 12 equal parts, roll the dough into balls and press it between your palms.
Roll the dough into little puris or you can use a press pan you can use oil to prevent the dough from sticking while rolling.Heat the oil in a frying pan on high heat;Place the puri in the frying pan and press it with a skimmer, puri should puff right away.Turn puri over. Puri should be light golden brown on both sides. Take out the puri and place it on paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
Serve puri hot with Potato masala or any other vegetable curry.

Potato Masala

This is a one pot dish .And if you are anything like me you would love this recipe even more when you know that this dish needs very little cutting to do .This goes well with Chapati and puri
Potato-3 medium sized , peeled and chopped in quaters.
Onion-1 finely sliced
Green chillies-3 (slit)
Meat masala powder-1tsp
Turmeric powder-1/2tsp
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Urad dal- 1/2tsp,
curry leaves - a few
Salt - 1/2tsp


Heat oil in a pressure cooker and add mustard seeds,urad dal, curry leaves,green chillies. Add sliced onion after the mustard splutters. Saute  onions till they turngolden brown. Now add potatoes and other powders except garam masala  saute for a minute and then add 1 cup of water and salt ,mix well cook for about 1 whistle.After 1 whistle, open the cooker and add garam masala powder and let it boil for few minutes.This curry goes well with puri.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Chole Palak

As we are vegetarians I always try to add protein in the form of legumes to our diet as often as I can. And in order to have variety I try all sorts of recipes from all sources,. After many such trials I found out that recipes at Manjula's Kitchen reliable as they were easy to make and tasty to eat. This is my take on one such recipe

1 15oz can of chickpea ( garbanzo beans)
3 cups finely chopped spinach (palak)
2 medium tomatoes
1/2″piece ginger
1 green chili
3 tbs oil
1/4 tsp asafetida
1 tsp cumin seed
1 tbs coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp red pepper adjust to taste
1/2 tsp salt adjust to taste
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 can of vegetable broth or tsp of "Better than Bullion" vegetable base or 1/2 tsp black salt


Drain the liquid out of the chickpeas and rinse the chick peas well. Blend the tomatoes, green chilies, and ginger to make a puree.
Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the asafetida and cumin seeds.After the cumin seeds splutter, add the tomato puree, coriander powder, turmeric, red chili powder and cook for about 4 minutes on medium heat.Tomato mixture will start leaving the oil and will reduce to about half in quantity. Add spinach (you can even puree this), and salt. Now add  one half cup of water mixed with the vegetable base or the black salt. If you are using the vegetable broth, no need to add water. Let it cook covered for about 12 minutes on medium heat, checking in between the consistency of the gravy- if needed add more water to make it into the consistency of your liking.
Add the garam masala and let it cook for another minute.
Source: Manjula's Kitchen

Monday, March 8, 2010

Beet Stir Fry

When I was a  kid I always wanted to try Beet-root fry. But my Mom and Dad, who always used to get us whatever we wanted, never used to buy this vegetable. As like many others my Dad also hated its earthy smell and thought that we also may not like this. So whenever my friends had this dish for lunch I used to envy them. I am sure my desire for this was not because I knew that it contains sodium, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, sulphur, chlorine, iodine, iron, copper, vitamin B1, B2, C ,P and is an abundant source of fiber, but because of the beautiful red colour it imparts on the rice. When I grew up and went for my studies in B'lore this was one vegetable that I tried making myself  but like my father I had some problem with its earthy smell. But I didn't give up making this since by then I knew of its nutritional values.  As a result now I have a few yummy recipes of beetroot that anyone would love to have. This recipe is for all those who loves to have colour in their rice.

Beetroot-2 medium (cut into small pieces)
Ginger-1 1/2 inch (cut fine)
Green chili -3
Curry leaves-few
Onion -1
Salt -as required

Cook the beet along with ginger,curry leaves , green chili and salt by adding enough water to almost cover the beet.You can also cook this in a microwave .
Once the beetroot is cooked, drain the excess water. Meanwhile saute onion in a frying pan along with oil till they turn translucent. Now add the cooked beets and saute till it's dry. It may take a few minutes. If you are in a mood for some spicy beets you can add an additional 1/4 tsp pepper or chili powder to it and saute for an additional minute. Now you have your beet fry ready. This goes well with rice and rasam.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


As per Wikedpedia, the history of baklava is not well-documented. It has been claimed by many ethnic groups, but there is strong evidence that it is of Central Asian Turkic origin, with its current form being developed in the imperial kitchens of the Topkapı Palace.
But one thing that I sure of is that its a tasty treat and not that hard to make by yourself.This makes three dozen
1 (16 ounce) package phyllo dough
1 pound chopped nuts(I almost ground it to a bread crumb consistency - used a mix of pistachios and almonds)
1 cup butter(melted)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup water
1 cup  sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cloves
a dash of nutmeg
1/2 cup honey
1tsp lemon juice
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter the bottoms and sides of a 9x13 inch pan.
Grind the nuts and toss it with cinnamon. Set aside. Unroll phyllo dough. Cut whole stack in half to fit pan. Cover phyllo with a dampened cloth to keep from drying out as you work. Place two sheets of dough in pan, butter thoroughly using a pastry brush. Repeat until you have 8 sheets layered. Sprinkle 2 - 3 tablespoons of nut mixture on top. Top with two sheets of dough, butter, nuts, layering as you go. The top layer should be about 6 - 8 sheets deep.
Using a sharp knife cut into diamond or square shapes. See that the cut is not all the way to the bottom of the pan. You may cut into 4 long rows and the make diagonal cuts. Bake for about 30 minutes. Bake until baklava is golden and crisp.
Make syrup while baklava is being baked. Boil sugar ,water and cloves until sugar is melted and to a one thread consistency. Add vanilla,lemon juice and honey.
Remove baklava from oven and immediately pour the syrup over it. It is better to cool down the syrup prior to pouring. Let it cool.You can garnish it with more powdered nuts and nutmeg. Cut the baklava all the way to the bottom.  Serve in cupcake liners. This tastes best the next day. Leave it uncovered as it gets soggy if it is wrapped up.

  "lezzetli baklava"
Source: Allrecipes

Herbed Potato Soup

Soups of  any variety are always welcome in our house.This is a creamy soup which looks and tastes almost like the chowder without any fish or additional vegetables.

3 cups broth (water)
1 cup chopped onion
4 cups sliced and peeled potatoes
3 cloves of  garlic
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Few dashes of pepper
2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon dill
Seasoned croutons, for serving
1. Bring first four ingredients to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes or until done. Set aside.
2. Take another pan add next five ingredients. Cook it stirring over medium heat until thick and bubbly. Stir into potato mixture. Add dill and heat soup thoroughly. Top with croutons and serve.
Source: Allrecipes.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Orotti "A flattened rice bread"

This is a flat bread made with rice flour. In our house this is called orotti but in in my husbands place its called 'kai pathiri' may be because its made entirely with the hand.I like the name orotti. I think this is called an orotti  because this is one type of rotti hence oru (one in malayalam) rotti(bread) and in short orotti. This is eaten along with a spicy curry or with just some sweetened coconut milk or even goes well with milk and sugar.

2 cups roasted rice powder (Rice powder for puttu )
1 cup grated coconut
3 shallots
1tsp cumin
2 1/2 cups hot water
Salt to taste

Dissolve the salt in the water.  Grind shallots, cumin and coconut together to a coarse paste. Add this to the rice powder along with the water. While still warm knead, it to a soft dough as for a chapathi and divide into small balls just as you would to make chapathis.
Heat a nonstick pan and take one of the balls that you had prepared and flatten it as much as you can in your hand.Place this on the pan and flatten it more with your fingers, moistened with some water to prevent the dough sticking onto the fingers. (I used an oiled press pan to make the orotti instead of the traditional hand method, above mentioned)
Cook this covered for 2 minutes then flip it and cook it uncovered for another 2 minutes.
Serve hot, either with some spicy curry or with your choice of sweetened milk.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Okra Stew

This is a dish that my Mom used to make when we were kids.After my daughter was born and she started taking solid foods, I wanted to make this for her. But as I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, I didn't  learn much cooking from my Mom, so I recreated this from my memory. Luckily for me (and those who ate this) this turned out almost like hers. My daughter liked this curry and  it turned out to be one curry she wanted  at least once a week.This recipe is for all the okra lovers out there and is a must try recipe.This goes well with rice or chapathi.

  1. Okra-15 no:s
  2. Onion-1
  3. Tomato-1
  4. Ginger-1tsp
  5. Curry leaves-few
  6. Green Chilies-2
  7. Turmeric powder-1/4tsp
  8. Coriander powder-1tbs
  9. Chili powder-1/4tsp
  10. Garam masala powder-1 tsp
  11. Coconut milk-1 cup          
  12. Salt -to taste
  13. Vegetable oil - 3 tbs
  • Wash and dry the okras and cut them into small pieces .
  • Heat a heavy bottom vessel; add 3 table spoons of oil and and when it is heated add onion,ginger,curry leaves and green chilli. When the onion turns translucent add the tomato and saute till the oil seperates .
  • Now add turmeric powder,coriander powder,chili powder and garam masala to the mix and saute till the mix gives out a cooked smell.
  • Add okra pieces to this now and saute for another 3 minutes or till the okra losses its crunchiness.
  • Add coconut milk and salt and cook covered in medium heat till okra is cooked well. Check after every few minutes, in case the curry is too dry add a little water or coconut milk. 

Monday, March 1, 2010

Ravioli Using Wonton Wraps

This is a recipe for making almost  fresh Ravioli using wonton wraps easily found in the freezer section of your grocery store.This tastes so good and fresh and requires less time than making the
 entire thing from scratch.


1/2 cup of grated morrzarella cheese
1/4 cup freshly made paneer(Ricotta cheese can be used instead but should be strained)
1/4 cup of chive flavoured cream cheese
1/4 cup of cubed cheddar or velveeta cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup (packed) pre-washed baby spinach leaves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon Chili paste
1 package (40 pieces) square or round wonton skins
 Marinara sauce

Grind together paneer and cream cheese. Add to this, all the herbs, pepper,chilli paste, all the other cheese and spinach. Stir well to combine. Place an even number of wonton wraps on a clean, flat surface. Using a brush or your finger, moisten the outer edges of half of the wraps with water. Take a heaping tablespoon-full of the cheese filling into the center of each of the moistened halves. Top with the other wrap, pressing to make certain the edges are sealed well (If you want smaller ravioli, just use one wrapper, place half of the filling to one side of the center, fold over and seal) . Place on a large baking sheet lined with waxed or parchment paper in one layer. Continue to fill the remaining wonton wraps. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil for cooking these. (Adding salt to the water is optional. For me, the wonton wraps and cheese filling has sufficient amount of salt, but make it to your taste.) Cook the ravioli, in batches if necessary, until the filling is hot and the dough is cooked, approximately for about 3 minutes. Drain and serve immediately, with your favorite homemade or store-bought marinara sauce, just enough to cover all of the ravioli  garnished with some Parmesan cheese.
If you don't plan to cook all of this ravioli at one go, you may refrigerate them for later use. You may take it out of the freezer and put it in the boiling water whenever you are ready to go.
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