Friday, July 30, 2010

Phulka / Pulka

Whole wheat flour is more nutritious and much better than white flour. Phulka's are unleavened Indian bread and are best made when placed on a gas burner as they fluff all around evenly. They turn out to be very light and fluffy in texture, if the wheat flour is kneaded to a smooth and pliable dough. Phulka's tend to dry out or become hard, if made way before the meals time. So the best practice is to make them during the meals time and serve hot hot phulka's one after the other as they are soft and fluffed up.

Whole Wheat Flour          2 cups + for dusting
Warm Water                      1 cup or adjust accordingly
Salt                                      pinch
Oil                                        to grease


  • Take the wheat flour in a mixing bowl and add just a pinch of salt to it. Mix together.
  • Slowly add water little by little and knead to a smooth dough. Combine and knead the dough well.
  • Now tip the oil and apply all around the dough and let sit covered for 20 mins.
  • After 20 mins., knead the dough once to make it softer.
  • Heat the skillet on medium flame.
  • Make small balls out of the dough and start rolling.
  • Dust the dough balls in the wheat flour and roll the balls with a rolling pin to a round disc evenly.
  • Place these roundals on to the hot skillet and press gently on top till the bubbles start rising.
  • Then flip other side and cook for 4 - 5 secs.
  • On the side burner, switch on the flame to low-medium and place this bubbled phulka directly on the flame with tongs. It puffs up like a puri or a balloon and turn the other side. When both sides are puffed, serve immediately.
  • Light and Fluffy Phulka's taste so good when hot and as the phulka's are made with whole wheat flour, they are healthy too.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Vegetable Biryani

For good reasons, eating plenty of vegetables helps in improving health. They are very important for a good and healthy diet. Variety of vegetables provides all the nutrients to be healthy. As most of the vegetables consist mainly water, they are low in calories and are excellent source of fiber, iron, Vitamin A, Calcium, Vitamin C, Potassium. Eating colorful variety of veggies everyday helps towards the best nutrition.

Basmati Rice                         2 cups washed and soaked for 20 mins.
Bay Leaves                            4
Shahjeera                              1/2 tsp.
Salt                                          to taste
Mint Leaves                          2 tbsps. rinsed and chopped
Onions                                   2 large thinly sliced
Coriander Leaves                2 tbsps. rinsed and chopped
Ghee                                       3 tbsps.
Cauliflower                           1 medium cut to medium size florets
Potatoes                                3 medium diced to medium cubes
Carrots                                  4 diced to small pieces
Beans                                    1 cup chopped to small pieces.
Cashewnuts                        3 tbsps.

For Masala, ground to paste with little water the following
Ginger                                     3 cms. small piece
Cinnamon                               4 cms.
Coriander Seeds                   2 tsps.
Fennel Seeds                         2 tsps.
Garlic                                       3 flakes
Cardamom Pods                   6
Red Chilli Powder                 1 1/2 tsps.
Poppy Seeds                          2 tsps.
Green Chillies                        3
Cloves                                     5

  • Grind the above mentioned masala ingredients adding little water to a paste. Keep the ground paste aside.
  • Fry the cashewnuts in 1 tbsp. ghee till light golden. Remove and keep aside for garnishing.
  • Once the rice is soaked for 20 mins. cook the rice with 3 1/2 cups of water and salt added to it. ( Add enough salt as we don't add salt to veggies) Cover and cook for 10 mins. After 10 mins. take out the lid and stir the rice gently once half way through and let it cook for another 5 mins. uncovered. Once the rice is done switch off the flame and let sit covered till the veggies are mixed with the rice.
  • When the rice is cooking, start the preparation for veggies.
  • Heat ghee in a kadai, add bay leaves and shahjeera. Add sliced onions and fry till brown.
  • When the onions turn brown, add the ground masala paste and fry for a min.
  • Now add cauliflower florets, diced beans, carrots and potatoes. Mix once and cover with the lid. Cook till the veggies are half cooked. Then pour 1 cup of water and stir well. Cook covered for another 10 mins.
  • After 10 mins. stir and cook uncovered till the water evaporates. Mix gently. Now add coriander leaves and mint leaves and mix.
  • Remove from fire and transfer the contents to the cooked rice.
  • On top of the rice layer this veggie mixture and let sit covered for 10 - 15 mins. Now mix the biryani lightly and let covered for another 5 mins.
  • Garnish with fried cashewnuts and lightly mix to distribute the flavors and seasonings uniformly.
  • Serve hot Vegetable Biryani with raita as a side dish.

To watch the video please click on the following clip

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Paneer Baingan

One of the most common dish to think of North India is none other than Paneer. It's a fresh cottage cheese which varies from curries, rice, gravys to desserts. It's finely delicate and delicious milk dish. Homemade Paneer tastes better and is much softer than the store bought ones. For the one's who doesn't have enough time to make the Paneer, the best alternative is the store bought one. One of my favorite dishes to count on is anything made with Paneer. It's an absolute delicacy. In this recipe, I combined eggplants with paneer and goes well with phulka or chapathi.

Eggplants                 3 long cut into bite size cubes, washed and soaked in salted water for 5 mins.
Salt                             to taste
Paneer                       1 1/2 cups cut into small cubes
Coriander Leaves   to garnish
Oil                               1 tbsp.
Butter                        1 tbsp.
Cumin Seeds           1/2 tsp. grind to a coarse powder
Black Salt                  pinch
Coriander Seeds    1/2 tsp. grind to a coarse powder
Turmeric Powder   1/4 tsp.
Amchur Powder     1/4 tsp.
Red Chilli Powder   1/4 tsp.
Sugar                         pinch

  • Heat oil in a frying pan. Add paneer and cook till golden brown on low heat. Keep stirring to avoid paneer sticking to the bottom of the pan. Once done remove and keep aside.
  • In the same pan, add butter and let melt. Add cubed eggplants and cook covered on low-medium flame.
  • Stir occasionally to avoid burning and cover the lid again. Cook till the eggplants are soft and tender.
  • When they are soft, add fried paneer and cook over low heat for 5 mins.
  • Now add ground cumin powder, black salt, ground coriander powder, turmeric powder, amchur powder, red chilli powder and pinch of sugar. Mix well.
  • After a min. add salt and combine all the spices well with eggplant paneer mixture. Adjust seasonings accordingly.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and turn off the heat.
  • Serve hot Paneer Baingan along with phulkas and chapathi.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Fruit Salad

The best dessert to have in summer is eating fruits. It keeps us cool and satisfied for a long time. Fruits have high nutritional values and a very good source of healthy diet. They should be rinsed properly before cutting or eating. You need to eat variety of fruits everyday and trying out new fruits with different colors provides a wide range of nutrients. They are excellent source of healthful diet and a strategy to weight loss. Fresh fruits are easy to eat on-the-go which in return provides high levels of energy.

Apple                1 
Bananas            2
Mangoes          2
Strawberries   8
Raspberries     10
Blueberries      1 1/2 cups
Watermelon     2 cups scooped cubes
Milk                    1 cup
Sugar                 to taste (optional)
Lemon               1 squeeze juice in a small bowl

  • Wash and rinse apple, mangoes, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and keep aside.
  • Chop apple and mangoes to small cubes. Cut the bananas into rounds. Cut the tip leaves of the strawberries and slice them thinly. Keep all the fruits aside.
  • In a mixing bowl, add one after the other all the fruits and toss them once.
  • Now add lemon juice and sugar to taste. Toss again till all the fruits are mixed well.
  • Top it off with milk and combine. Chill before serving.
  • Yummy Fruit Salad does wonders to both kids and grown-ups.
  1. Fruit variations can be easily done according to ones taste preferences.
  2. Pineapple, Lime, Orange, Cherry, Grapes and any other fruits can be mixed depending on the choice.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Basic Easy Omelet

A quick dish anyone can think of is the one's which are made with eggs. Especially omelet which is made with beaten eggs is as quick and easy as it can be. There are variations in preparing the omelet. It can be varied from adding different vegetables. Omelet can be a hearty meal either for breakfast, lunch or dinner. There is no limit in adding veggies and having a good time that's appealing and tasty.

Eggs               4
Pepper           to taste
Milk                 1/4 cup
Salt                  to taste


  • Beat the eggs in a bowl and pour milk and beat for 2 mins.
  • Now add salt and black pepper powder to the egg milk mixture and beat again.
  • When all the ingredients are well combined, keep the mixture aside.
  • Heat a large frying pan, add 1 1/2 tbsps. oil. Let the oil heat on medium flame.
  • Pour the prepared beaten omelet mixture in to the oiled frying pan. Reduce the heat to low and cover with the lid for 2 mins.
  • After 2 mins. take out the lid and flip the omelet to the other side and cook uncovered for 1-2 mins. till the omelet is set.
  • Once it's done serve hot Omelet as a side or have it as it is. Delicious :)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Mashed Potatoes

Fresh potatoes that are boiled and mashed with a potato masher is nothing but mashed potatoes. Different ingredients or herbs can be added in making of this mushy mashed potatoes. Kids love it and it's pretty easy to make. Here, I'm showing the basic simple mashed potato without adding any herbs or other creamy ingredients. It's a little dry variation which is soft but coarse.

Potatoes        9
Salt                  to taste
Pepper           to taste
Butter             2 tbsps.


  • Peel the skin of potatoes and wash them in running water. 
  • Add water covering up the potatoes and add salt.
  • Boil the potatoes for 20 mins. covered, checking in between.
  • Stir occasionally and once the potatoes are soft and tender, switch off the flame.
  • Take the boiled potatoes into a serving bowl and mash well with a potato masher or a fork.
  • Sprinkle salt and pepper powder as per taste. ( As we already added salt while boiling potatoes make sure at this stage it's not over salted.) 
  • Add butter and mix well.
  • Mashed Potato is ready to be served hot along with gravy.

To watch the video please click on the following clip

Thursday, July 22, 2010

American Pancakes

Pancake shapes vary depending on the regions. According to the individual preferences pancakes structure differs. With variety of fillings and toppings, the tastes differ from one pancake to another. They are well suited for breakfast but surely can be served at any time of the day. There are numerous variations while preparing the batter for pancakes. American Pancakes are round thick like cakes.

Flour                     1 1/2 cups sifted
Butter                   3 tbsps. melted
Baking Powder   3 tsps. sifted
Egg                        1
Salt                        1 tsp.
Sugar                    1 tbsp.
Low Fat Milk        1 1/4 cups
Raspberries         1/4 cup
Blueberries          1/2 cup
Strawberries       3/4 cup sliced

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix all the dry ingredients together. Make little space in the center for the wet ingredients to incorporate.
  • Now add melted butter, milk and egg and mix well. Whisk till the batter thickens. Keep aside.
  • Heat a frying pan or griddle and add 1 tbsp. butter and let it spread.
  • Once the butter is spread, scoop the batter with a ladle in the center of the pan. ( Donot spread the batter to the entire pan, just drop and leave into a small round. It bulges by itself. ) 
  • When the bubbles start on top, check whether the bottom has turned light brown. Then flip the other side.
  • After a min., when the pancake has turned brown the other side too, remove from pan and place on a serving plate.
  • Repeat the process from points 4-6 for other pancakes.
  • Once all the pancakes are done, it's time to serve.
  • In a serving plate, arrange all the pancakes and dress up with blueberries, raspberries and sliced strawberries.
  • Drizzle delicious maple syrup over the pancakes and fruits.
  • Soft, spongy American Pancakes are so delicious and tasty.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Cucumber Raita

There are variety of cucumbers and they contain water in them mostly. In warm or hot summer season, cucumbers soothe a lot as it's very tender and watery. It keeps us cool and hydrated.Varied methods of pickles and salads can be prepared. Cucumber Raita is one of a kind to cool down. Combining cucumbers and yogurt together yields nutritive values and health benefits.

Cucumber                       1 large peeled and rinsed
Salt                                 to taste
Yogurt                             2 cups
Low Fat Milk                    3 tbsps.

  • Grate the cucumber and keep aside.
  • In a bowl, take yogurt and beat until smooth. To the beaten yogurt add milk and blend well.
  • Blend until creamy tart texture. Add salt and mix well.
  • Now add grated cucumber and mix well. Combine the cucumber with yogurt mixture.
  • Cucumber Raita is ready to be served as side dish.
Note:  You can add spices of your choice if you would like.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Egg Masala Semiya

Vermicelli is a type of pasta. In India it's named differently. In south mostly it's called as semiya. Either it's made sweet or like upma. Instead of making the same routine semiya upma, I spiced up by adding whole garam masala and to make it more healthier I added egg to it. So it matches to both for kids and grown-ups.

Eggs            2 boil eggs for 15 mins. on high and peel out the shell
Vermicelli               4 cups
Oil                         2 tbsps.
Mustard Seeds       1 tsp.
Coriander Leaves     to garnish
Cardamom Pods      6
Salt                         to taste
Black Cumin            2 tsps.
Onions                    2 finely chopped
Cloves                     4
Green Chillies          3 finely chopped

  • Cut the boiled eggs into half and scoop out the yolks separately into a small bowl and keep aside.Now chop the boiled egg whites into small cubes. Keep aside.
  • In a frying pan, heat 1 tbsp. oil and add semiya and toast till light golden. Once the semiya changes to slight color, take out in a bowl and keep aside.
  • In the same pan, add 1 tbsp. oil. Once the oil is hot add mustard seeds, cloves, cardamom pods, black cumin and sautee.
  • When the mustard seeds sputter around, add onions and sautee till the onions turn transparent. Add green chillies and curry leaves and stir for few secs.
  • Once all the ingredients are combined well, pour water 6-7 cups and add salt. Let it come to a boil.
  • When the water starts to boil, add toasted semiya and keep stirring gently.When the semiya is 3/4 done or is tender, add chopped egg white cubes and stir.
  • Once all the water is evaporated garnish the dish with coriander leaves. (if you like you can as well top it off with kept aside boiled egg yolks)
  • Serve hot Egg Masala Semiya along with the sides of your choice.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Spiced Almonds

Almonds are one of the healthy nuts to eat. These crunchy almonds with spiced punch satisfies the snack bites. When the spices are infused into these nuts, a wonderful aroma is released. They are rich source of Vitamin E and improves health.

Olive Oil                        2 tsps.
Salt                                to taste
Whole Almonds             3 tbsps.
Red Chilli Powder          1 1/2 tsps.
Cumin Powder               1/2 tsp.
Black Pepper Powder    1/4 tsp.

  • Take a frying pan and heat oil over medium heat.
  • Drop the almonds and roast them on low flame till light golden in color.
  • When the almonds are golden add cumin powder, red chilli powder and sautee for a min.
  • In the end, add pepper powder and salt as per taste and combine well.
  • Once the almonds turn aromatic switch off and take out in a serving dish.
To watch the video please click on the following clip

Friday, July 16, 2010


Many of America's traditional dishes have their roots in Native American foods. Succotash is one of them. Traditionally this dish is made with lima beans, corn and peppers. Here I had to substitute lima beans with french beans. But lima beans tastes better. So try with lima beans and see the difference.

Butter                                3 tbsps.
Red Peppers                      1/4 cup thinly sliced
Corn                                  3 cups
Lima Beans                        2 cups
Salt                                    to taste
Black Pepper Powder          2 tsps.        

  • In a saucepan, heat 2 tbsps. butter. Once butter is heated, add red bell peppers and cook until tender for a min. Add corn and cook for a min. In the end add lima beans and stir for a min.
  • Now add 1/4 cup water, stir, cover and lower the flame.Let it cook for 3 mins. Now cook uncovered for another 2 mins. on low flame till the water evaporates.
  • Add 1 tbsp. butter and season the dish with salt and pepper. Stir and combine all the veggies with buttered seasoning.
  • Traditional dish of Native America "Succotash" is ready. 

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Bagharwali Dahi Phulkiyan

I got this recipe from my friend. She told me how to do it, so I tried to do exactly to the "T" and it turned out to be very nice. It's a kind of north Indian "Kadi" and looks the same too. But surely it's different from kadi. It's Bagharwali Dahi Phulkiyan. Meaning, Pakoras in Seasoned Yogurt Sauce. This goes well with naan.

Yogurt              3 cups beat the yogurt to a creamy texture without adding water
Besan                          1 cup
Onions                         1 medium finely chopped
Red Chilli Powder          3 tsps.
Coriander Leaves           3 tbsps.
Green Chillies               2 finely chopped
Salt                              to taste
Garlic                          3 flakes
Dry Red Chilli               1
Curry Leaves                few
Baking Soda                1/4 tsp.
Oil                               to deep fry

  • Keep the beaten yogurt aside. In a blender, add garlic flakes, red chilli, small amount of water and make into a paste. Add this paste to yogurt and add salt as per taste. Mix well.
  • Now add little water to yogurt mixture and combine well. Keep it aside.
  • In a wide bowl, take besan, baking soda, salt and add small amount of water to make a batter.
  • To this batter, add onions, green chillies, 2 tbsps. coriander leaves, red chilli powder and mix well. Add enough water to make into slightly thicker consistency to make pakoras.
  • Heat oil in a kadai. Once oil is hot, drop small dollops of the batter from side and deep fry on medium heat till golden brown.
  • Once they turn golden brown, take out from the oil and put them carefully in the yogurt sauce directly.
  • In a pan, heat oil and add red chillies, curry leaves. Add this seasoning to the yogurt pakora mixture.
  • Garnish with 1 tbsp. coriander leaves and serve Bagharwali Dahi Phulkiyan with hot naan.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Kobbari Annamu

Rice is the most important staple food for most parts of the world. There are many varieties of rice, few being aromatic fragrant rice. It's an important factor for nutrition and caloric intake. In South India, rice is the main staple grain compared to the rest of India, where wheat flour is more common. Traditional method for people in South India is to serve all the dishes along with the rice. Kobbari Annam aka Coconut Rice is very much famous in Andhra and is too delicious to eat. It's simple, easy and a very light rice dish.

Rice         1 cup washed, soaked for 1/2 hour, cooked with a tsp. of oil, keep aside
Ghee                              3 tbsps.
Oil                                 1 tbsp.
Cloves                           6
Cinnamon                       1"
Bay Leaf                         3
Cardamom Pods              6
Cashewnuts                    3 tbsps.
Urad Dal                         1 tbsp.
Chana Dal                       2 tbsps.
Fresh Grated Coconut      2 cups
Curry Leaves                  few
Green Chillies                3 slit lengthwise                              
Salt                               to taste

  • In a large frying pan, add 1tbsp ghee and let it heat. Add cashewnuts, chana dal and urad dal and roast till the dals are slightly red. Remove and keep aside.
  • In the same pan, add the remaining ghee and oil. Once it's hot toss in the cloves, cardamom, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and let sautee for a min. Now add curry leaves and slit green chillies and sautee them for a min.
  • Once sauteed, add freshly grated coconut and mix well. Fry till the rawness of the coconut disappears.
  • Combine coconut with the whole garam masala and add salt as per your taste. Stir in between to avoid the coconut sticking to the surface of the pan for 5-6 mins.
  • When a nice aromatic fragrance begins, add the cooked rice and combine well. (Donot mash the rice. Be gentle enough while mixing and combining all the ingredients with rice.)
  • Stir for 5 mins. and turn off the heat.
  • Garnish coconut rice with the roasted cashewnuts, chana dal and urad dal and combine well.
  • Cover and let stand for 1/2 hour before serving for all the flavors to combine together.
  • Authentic, Traditional, Delicious Kobbari Annamu is ready.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Orange Jello

Jelly is one of a kind desserts, a translucent solid substance. They can be mould into different shapes. Jell-O's could be set in a personalized mould and turn out to be a party hit. It's an ultimate pudding for kids to be served in summer. It's pretty easy to make and pretty easy to gulp. Once it's out of the chilled temperature, kids won't wait. Bowls will be cleaned within no time.

Gelatine                 9 gms.
Hot Boiled Water    1 cup
Cold water             1 cup

  • Take gelatine in a bowl and add boiling water and stir continously for 2 mins. until the powder is dissolved.
  • Now pour cold water and stir for a min. Let the powder combine well with the water.
  • Now refrigerate for about 3-4 hours until firm.
  • Keep it chilled and take out before serving.
  • Jell-O is wiggly wobbling all around the tray.
To watch the video please click on the following clip

Monday, July 12, 2010

Tomato Upma

There are variety of upma's which can be made with wheat grains or vermicelli. It's typically a South Indian dish. In South India the ingredient which is used to make upma is called as "ravva", wherein the rest of the places, call it as "Sooji". It's very easy to prepare and also is incorporated with various flavors including spices and vegetables used in the preparation of making upma. Though there are many ways to prepare this dish, basic rule applies. If you know to make basic upma, you can play with the vegetables and other ingredients and turn out to your own recipe.

Sooji Roasted           1 cup
Salt                          to taste
Hing                         1/4 tsp.
Onion                       1 medium chopped
Green Chillies           3 chopped
Ginger                      1 tsp. thinly & finely chopped
Curry Leaves             few
Tomato                     1 medium chopped to cubes
Coriander Leaves       2 tbsps. finely chopped
Mustard Seeds           1 tsp.
Cashewnuts              3 tbsps.
Chana Dal                 2 tbsps.
Urad Dal                   1 tbsp.
Ghee                        1 tbsp.
Water                       3 cups adjust water level accordingly

  • In a large saucepan, add ghee. Once the ghee is hot add cashewnuts, chana dal and urad dal. Let all the nuts turn light golden and then add mustard seeds.
  • Once the mustard seeds start to splutter, add hing, broken dry red chilli, curry leaves.
  • Now add onions and let sautee for 3 mins. Once the onions turn golden add chopped green chillies and ginger. Sautee for few secs. Now add tomatoes and let them become soft.
  • When the tomatoes are soft, toss in the coriander leaves and sautee for a min.
  • Pour water and add salt and let it come to a single boil.
  • When the water starts to boil, slowly add the sooji / ravva and stir continously in order not to form any lumps. Stir continously for 3-4 mins. or till you get the desired consistency of upma. Turn off the heat and let it sit covered for 5 mins.
  • Serve hot upma along with a lemon and pickle.