Monday, 30 September 2013

Musur Dal er Bora - Masoor Dal Dumplings in a spicy sauce - Bengali Recipe

Bengali Cuisine reminds me of two things - the amazing fish dishes and the sweets in no particular order. Avant Garde Cookies decided to make something Bengali. I loved this recipe from here. I decided to make it. It was awesome. Just out of the world. The only issue was the it was supposed to be a gravy. But the dumplings absorbed all the liquid. Well another issue was we were fighting at home to decide who gets more.

(sorry about the poor photo)


For Dumplings
Split Red Masoor Dal 1 cup
Ginger 1" piece
Green Chillies 1
Water 1/4 cup (or as needed)

Cumin Powder 1 tsp
Salt as needed
Onion finely chopped 1
Coriander leaves chopped 1/4 cup

For the sauce

Cinnamon 2" piece
Bay leaf 1
Cardamom 4
Cumin 1/2 tsp

Potato cubed 2
Turmeric 1/2 tsp

Tomato 2 (pureed)
Ginger 1 inch piece
Green Chilli 1

Cumin Powder 1 tsp
Kashmiri Chilli Powder 1/2 tsp

Warm Water 1 - 1.5 cups (as needed)
Salt as neeed
Sugar 1/2 tsp

Method of Preparation

1. Soak Masoor Dal in water for an hour.

2. Drain water and add the lentils, ginger, green chillies and water (as required) to a blender. Make a thick paste.

3. To the paste cumin powder, salt, onion and coriander leaves. Mix well.

4. In a pan, heat oil and deep fry tablespoon of this. (i did not do this). I used a pan called Paniyaram pan to shallow fry. It looks like the ebelskiver pan. Keep aside.

5. Heat some Oil in a pan. Add cinnamon, bay leaf, cardamom and cumin seeds.

6. When the spices sizzle, add the potato.and Turmeric Powder and saute till the potatoes start to cook.

7. Make a puree of the tomato along with ginger and green chillies. Add this to the pan along with some salt. Cook till the tomato is done and oil starts oozing out.

8. Now add the cumin powder and chilli powder. Saute for 3-4 min till a nice reddish colour develops.

9. Add 1 cup of warm water. Add salt and sugar to taste. Cover and cook till potatoes are done.

10. Finally add the fried lentil fritters. Let them simmer in the gravy at low heat for a few minutes. The fritters will soak up the gravy. I did not get the liquid consistency that the original recipe had, but tasty nevertheless.

Serve with rice or roti. 

Friday, 27 September 2013

Roasted Pumpkin Thogayal - No Coconut Recipe - Roasted Pumpkin Spread/Dip

Thogayals form a great part of meal in South India. Typically it is used in combination with rice and a dry side dish. In our family we love eat it with dosas and idlis as well. Thogayals can be made with or without coconut. This one does not use one and has the goodness of vegetables in it.

You can use this as a dip or a spread as well. Will taste awesome!


Roasted Pumpkin 1 cup
Urad Dal 1/4 cup
Dry Red Chilli 2
Tamarind paste 1/2 tsp
Oil and Salt to taste

Method of Preparation

1. Cut the butternut squash into 2 vertically. Brush a little oil and bake in a preheated oven at 150C for 45 min. Scoop out the flesh and keep ready. I used half of a small squash to get 1 cup of roasted pumpkin flesh. You can alternately, just peal, chop and cook the pumpkin.

2. Heat a little oil in a pan. Add the urad dal. Roast till it turn slightly brown.

3. Add the broken red chilli as well.

4. Grind the dal, chilli, tamarind paste, salt and pumpkin into a coarse paste by adding very little water.

Enjoy as a dip for carrots/chips or a sandwich spread or as a chutney for dosa/idli.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups - 500th post

Peanut Butter Cups from Reese's (Hershey) is a family favourite. So it is no surprise that when my husband travelled to US last week that was what my little one and I wanted for Sweeties. My little one calls it 'the american chocolate'. I wanted to make something special for my 500th post and when he landed a couple of days ago with a bag of these, I knew I wanted to bake with them. Totally loved it.

Now coming to the milestone. You know I love you all for staying with me, reading all that I write, trying recipes, giving me feedback, and encouraging me. It been amazing journey. Every Milestone that I achieve is special. Its almost going to be 2 years (well couple more months to go). And I have enjoyed this journey thoroughly. Thank You all.

This post also is for the Palooza ( AnuRadhika and Me) Theme this month of making a couple of things in the muffin/cup cake pan. I wanted to do something that is not a muffin or cupcake for that. But this fits so perfectly. The last one I do for that theme will defenitely be something different. I promise (well, I will try).

Recipe from here


All Purpose Flour 163 gms (11/4 cup)
Baking Powder 1 tsp
Salt 1/4 tsp

Peanut Butter 2/3 cup
Butter 113 gms (1/2 cup)
Caster Sugar 150gms (3/4 cup)
Eggs 2
Vanilla 1 tsp
Milk 3 tbsp

Peanut Butter cups 12

Method of Preparation

1. In a bowl or stand mixer, add the peanut butter and butter. Cream them together.

2. Add sugar and beat till it is light and fluffy.

3. Add eggs one at a time and beat till combined.

4. Add the vanilla extract as well and mix.

5. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

6. Add the flour and milk to the bowl and mix till combined. Do not overmix.

7. Scoop into lined cupcake tray. Use an icecream scoop to easily scoop the batter.

8. Place peanut butter cups on each cake and gently press it in.

9. Gently cover the chocolate with the dough from around it.

10. Preheat oven to 175 C (350 F).

11. Bake for 23-25 min till well baked.

12. It tasted great as is. But if you are really interested you can make a simple glaze.

Add 1 tbsp of peanut butter, 2 tbsp of powdered sugar and 1 tbsp of milk. Mix it all together till nice and smooth.  This should be enough to glaze 3 cupcakes. Top it with some chopped Reese's Peanut Butter cups.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Khaliat Nahal - Middle Eastern Honey Comb Bread - Sweet and Savoury Versions

Khaliat al Nahal (also known as Khaliat Nahal) translates as Bee’s Hive in Arabic. This is because the buns are baked close to each other in a round pan where they form a honeycomb like pattern. They’re traditionally made sweet and glazed with honey flavoured syrup, though savoury versions are also made. Traditionally, the filling used in this bread is a small piece of plain cream cheese. I have used some Cheddar Cheese in one batch and made the other batch without any filling

You can choose to do any filling of your choice. As I mentioned before, a cream cheese filling is traditional. But you can play around with options. I sued Cheddar cheese. You can use veggies or Paneer as well. As for the syrup, traditionally as soon as the bread comes out of the oven, pour the prepared syrup. I wanted to make an all in one bread. So I kept the stuffing neutral - just cheese. No spices. I made the bread with a little salt and a little sugar. Not as sweet as the sweet version. And served the sugar syrup as a dip along with some soup. So both in the same bake right?

Sugary Goodness! This one is a bread bite with sugar syrup poured all over. It was soooo good. I would highly recommend trying the sugar syrup with this bread.


For the dough
Lukewarm milk 1 cup
Fast acting Instant yeast 1.5 tsp
Sugar 1 tsp *
Strong White Bread Flour (or all purpose flour) 325gms (2.5 cups)
Salt 3/4 tsp *
Butter, melted and cooled 40 gms
Milk for brushing the dough 2 tbsp
White sesame seeds for sprinkling on top 2 tbsp

Note : If making as just sweet bread, use 3tbsp of sugar and 1/4 tsp of salt. I made it with 1 tsp sugar and 3/4 tsp salt.

For the filling
Cheddar Cheese - about 80gms, a very small bit per bread. I stuffed only 1/2 the above recipe.

Sugar Syrup/ Glaze
Sugar 1/4 cup
Water 3 tbsp
Saffron a pinch
Honey 1 tsp
Lemon juice 1/2 tsp

Method of Preparation

1. Add flour (reserve 1/2 cup and add as required), yeast, sugar, salt and butter in the mixing bowl. Mix well. If using active dry yeast, proof it using the warm milk.

2. Add the milk and combine till well kneaded. Add the reserved flour as needed. I used the whole 2.5 cups of flour.

3. Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a well-oiled bowl, turning it to coat completely with the oil. Cover and let it rise till double in volume, for about an hour.

4. Turn the dough out onto your work surface. You won’t really need to flour it as the dough is quite manageable as it is. Cut it into 2 halves. Work with 1 half keeping the other covered. 

5. With your palms, roll out each half a rope. The size of each piece and the number depends on what size tray you are using and how many circles you are going for. I made mine in 2 small 7" sandwich tins. So each portion I divided into 19 small balls. It will be very small balls. Once baked it was the size of a small lemon. 

And oh, I weighed the dough, divided into half. Then just divided the weight with 19 to get the weight of each portion. Was easier that way for me.

6. Flatten each ball and add a piece of cheese or any stuffing of your choice. Cover and make into a ball. Roll it within your palm.

7. Place the balls in a baking tray in a pattern. I did one in a centre, 6 around it, then placed another layer on the top, trying to align with the middle and top.

8. Let it rise for a second time for about  30 min.

9. Brush on the top with milk. Sprinkle some sesame seeds.

10. Bake for about 25-30 min till the top is browned.

11. Let it rest for 5 min and then cool on a wire rack.

Serve with some soup or drenched in sugar syrup

Sugar Syrup : To make the syrup, in a pan heat the sugar and water with the saffron till warmed and sugar is dissolved. Switch off and add the honey and lemon juice. 

 It is baked as part of the group 'We Knead to Bake'. We are baking a bread a month with the recipes from Aparna and having a blast! Here is this month's link

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Vegan Pesto Potato Salad Sandwich

After making this Pasta (Creamy Cashew and Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta), I had half of the sauce left over and I immediately made this sandwich. It was just wonderful. It holds well for a picnic or lunch box (even when packed inside a handbag)! I have to say, I am not sure if I enjoyed the pasta better or the sandwich. I will be making this often. Make the sauce and try both versions :-)

Sandwiches can be quite comforting and easy to prepare. And I have a love for these ciabatta rolls. I have to make them soon. These are store bought ones. Love the texture of the bread. They are great for any sandwich cause it absorbs the sauce well and the bread does not become soggy.

I have made this as part of this month's Palooza ! We are making a couple of Sandwiches and a couple of Muffin or Muffin Tray dishes. Stay tuned! AnuRadhika and Me


Cashew 3/4 cup
Garlic 2 pods
Sun Dried Tomatoes 3/4 cup (almost drained)
Cherry Tomato 1 cup
Basil 1/2 cup (packed)
Parmesan Cheese 1/2 cup (optional, I have not use it. just sprinkled on the top of the pasta at the table for whoever was interested in)
Red Chilli  Powder 1/2 tsp
Pepper 1/2 tsp
A little salt (remember the pasta will be salted)

To make Sandwiches

Ciabatta Rolls (or any bread) 6
Potato Boiled, pealed and cubed 4
Pesto Sauce 1/2 of above recipe
A little salt

Method of Preparation

1. Pulse the cashew in a food processor.

2. Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse till combined.

3. Boil potatoes. Peal them and dice them into small bits.

4. Toss it with 1/2 the recipe of the pesto sauce. Add some salt to taste.

6. Make sandwiches. The above will be enough to make 6 large sandwiches. So you will need 6 rolls.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Creamy Cashew and Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta

Pesto is one of my favourite Pasta Sauces. As with most things I love, it has dairy (parmesan cheese) and I cannot eat it. So while leading a life where I missed a lot of good things in life, I made a pesto with my homemade pasta. I served the family the real deal and made myself a modified version of the same. Recipe here. I have to be honest, you will not miss the cheese (unless that is the only thing you like in Pesto).

Now if you are looking for the best Vegan Pesto recipe (well, the best pesto recipe) in the world, look no further. You found it!! This has a blend of some amazing flavours, you will want to make a big batch. Everyone will ask for seconds and thirds!

Recipe adapted from here


Cashew 3/4 cup
Garlic 2 pods
Sun Dried Tomatoes 3/4 cup (almost drained)
Cherry Tomato 1 cup
Basil 1/2 cup (packed)
Parmesan Cheese 1/2 cup (optional, I have not used it. just sprinkled on the top of the pasta at the table for whoever was interested in)
Red Chilli  Powder 1/2 tsp
Pepper 1/2 tsp
A little salt (remember the pasta will be salted)

To make Pasta (Serves 3 generously)

Pasta 300 gms
Pesto Sauce 1/2 of above recipe
Salt to taste

Method of Preparation

1. Pulse the cashew in a food processor.

2. Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse till combined.

3. Bring a pot of water to boil. Add some salt. Cook Pasta as per package instructions. Drain (reserve a cup of pasta water).

4. Toss the pasta with the required amount of sauce. Add a little reserved water to loosen it up.

I served the pasta with no cheese for my husband and me. The Vegan version was just out of the world. My son enjoyed it with parmesan cheese. What a sneeky way to feed Veggies to kids and my little one truely loved this pasta!

Monday, 16 September 2013

Neeragaram - Neer Choru - Pazham Choru - Spiced Rice and Buttermilk Porridge

When I think of simple village food (gramathu sappadu), the first thing that comes to my mind is the Pazham Choru. It is basically a way to eat up left over rice. In our homes, my mom used to add some water to the left over rice and leave it in the kitchen counter. Next morning, you can drain the water and make this Pazham Choru. Though in those days it was not considered as a fancy food, it has great cooling properties. Yes, I know what you are thinking. Why am I posting it now as summer is over. Well in India it is always summer enough for Neer Choru!

I saw a couple of bloggers (Sangee and Radhika) posting recipes similar to this with Oats (a modern twist to the traditional staple). I am yet to try with Oats. Will update once I do.

This is traditionally served in Man Chatti (earthen pots). It adds to the cooling properties of the buttermilk. You can add all of the below spices or just some. It will taste awesome just like that.

Ingredients (makes 2 cups)

Cooked Rice 1/3 cup packed
Yogurt 2-3 tbsp
Water 2 cups
Shallots 1 sliced (you can use onions if you don't have shallots)
Green chilli 1 finely chopped
Curry leaves few
Ginger a small piece finely chopped
Coriander leaves few
Salt to taste

Method of Preparation

1. Mash the rice finely.

2. Take the yogurt in a bowl. Add water to it and churn it. You can use a wire whisk for this. In India we use a wooden churner (called Mattu in tamil).

3. Add the salt, green chilli, ginger, curry leaves, coriander leaves and shallots. Mix well.

4. Add this to the mashed rice. Mix well.

This works as a great dinner for the day when you had a heavy lunch or did I tell you a great food for dieting!

Check out the other AGC thoughout this week 
AnushaJayanthiKavithaPriya MRadhikaPriya S

Friday, 13 September 2013

Gujarati Dal - Toor Dal Cooked in Gujarati Flavours

Gujarati Dal - Toor Dal Cooked in Gujarati Flavours, I prepared this dal as part of the Thali Meal that I made.


Toor Dal 1 cup
Peanuts 2 tbsp
Tomato 1
Jaggery 2 tbsp
Ginger 1 inch piece
Green Chilli 1
Red Chilli Powder 1/4 tsp
Turmeric Powder 1/2 tsp
Date Syrup 1 tbsp
Lemon Juice 1 tbsp


Ghee (clarified butter) 1 tbsp (skip for vegan version)
Oil 1 tbsp
Mustard 1/2 tsp
Clove 2
Cinnamon 1 inch piece
Hing a little
Dry Red Chili 1
Curry Leaves few

Method of Preparation

1. Pressure cook the toor dal with enough water. Let it cool and then grind into a smooth paste.

2. Boil the peanuts in some water for 10 min till it is cooked.

3. Heat oil and ghee in pan. Add the mustard seeds.

4. When it sputters, add the clove, cinnamon, hing, red chillies and curry leaves.

5. When it sizzles, add the toor dal along with tomato, jaggery, chopped ginger, chopped green chilli, chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt.

6. Add some water as needed to adjust consistency.

7. The original recipe called for 2-3 dates as well. I did not have any. So I added a tbsp of Date syrup.

8. Bring to boil and simmer for a few minutes.

9. Switch off. Add the lemon juice. 

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Kidney Bean and Oats Burger - Vegan Burger

Once we were discussing about food that you could eat over and over. Each of us were talking about something that we love. For me it was a Kerala Meal. For some one it was a dosa. When it was my husband's turn, he said Burger without blinking an eye. Everyone was surprised. Every Vegetarian Indian who lives in the Western World eats his share of Veggie Burger out of necessity. I have never seen a person eating it out of love. (Eating Veggie Burger in India is a different story, even I love that). So this burger is for the burger lover in our house. You will see a few more burger recipes in the coming months from me!

Groovy Gourmets decided to make Burger with a difference (not a potato patti) and I decided to make these. They are loaded with protein and fibre. So Burger does not have to be junk food, it can be power packed healthy food. Kids will love this too!

Recipe from here


Onion 1 finely chopped
Garlic 4 pods finely chopped
Carrots 1 pealed and finely grated
Cumin Powder 1 tsp
Chilli Powder 1/2 tsp

Tomato Paste 1 tbsp
Soy Sauce 2 tbsp
Dijon Mustard 2 tbsp
Kidney Beans 1 can drained (or Soaked and cooked kidney beans 1 cup)
Oats 1.5 cups

Oil for cooking

Method of Preparation

1. Heat a little oil in a pan. Add the onions and garlic. Saute till they are browned slightly.

2. Add grated carrots, cumin powder and chilli powder. Saute for a couple of minutes.

3. Transfer to a bowl. Add the tomato paste, soy sauce and dijon mustard.

4. Gently mash the beans and add to the bowl.

5. Finally add the oats and mix well. Season with salt if needed. I did not add any extra salt.

6. Shape into 8 patties.

7. In a pan add a little oil and cook the pattie on both sides.

To serve

Burger bun - sliced and toasted
Onions sliced
Tomato sliced
Tomato sauce 1 tsp
Dijon Mustard 1 tsp
Cheese 1 slice

Assemble the burger pattie with the above ingredients and serve with some crisps or fries 

Monday, 9 September 2013

Dreamy Mocha Frappe - Healthy, No Artificial Sugar - Just 4 ingredients - Vegan

Frozen Bananas! My new addiction. I made a resolution a couple of weeks ago that I will have a smoothie everyday. So being a very optimistic person, I ordered 1/2 dozen bananas. Well, little did I know that I will be delivered bananas double the usual size nor did I know that my resolution would not even last a day.

After a week of sitting on the shelf, the banana was turning brown, nearing black. My husband threatened to chuck them away. I was first thinking of baking something like the banana cake. But I cannot use up 6 monstrous bananas. Moreover we were going to be out for a few days. So what is the point of baking right?

That is when I remembered lot of ppl freezing cut banana and making things with it. I did not know what I wanted to make. But I knew I will freeze it. I pealed the bananas and cut them into 1 inch rounds. Layered them on a baking sheet, covered it with cling film and stuck it into the freezer. Once frozen, you can store them in a ziploc bag. If you add it directly, it will all be stuck together. If you freeze and then store, it will remain separate.

This is the first thing I made, I have another one coming soon. I am making so many combos, not able to click most of the time.


Frozen Banana 15 pieces
Milk 1/2 cup (use soy milk for vegan)
Cocoa Powder 2 tsp
Coffee 1 tsp

Method of Preparation

1. In a food processor or a blender pulse all the ingredients until just combined.

And oh, adjust depending on how much cocoa and coffee you like. It does not have a very banana kind of taste. it will taste more like a Mocha!

Friday, 6 September 2013

Tofu Salad Sandwich - Egg Salad - Vegan Recipe

Did I tell you about my new found addiction for Pinterest. If not, do check out my boards here. You will know what I mean! There I have come to realize that making Vegan food need not be hard or tasteless. I have made a few dishes that are bursting with flavours which has even meat eaters (read veggie haters) asking me for recipes. :-)

I am a big fan of Egg Salad and Sandwiches/Wraps made with it. Due to some allergy issues, I cannot consume egg. When I saw this recipe here, I just knew I had to try it. It makes a great Picnic or Lunch Box Sandwich!

I have made this as part of this month's Palooza ! We are making a couple of Sandwiches and a couple of Muffin or Muffin Tray dishes. Stay tuned! AnuRadhika and Me


Tofu 1 block (400gms)
Yogurt 1/3 cup (original recipe called for Vegan Mayo. Could not find it. Use it if you need it to be Vegan or May be Soy Yogurt)
Dijon Mustard 1/3 cup
Garlic Powder 3/4 tsp
Chilli Powder 1/2 tsp
Pepper Powder 1/2 tsp
Honey (or Maple Syrup or golden syrup for Vegan) 1 tsp
Chopped Scallions 1/3 cup (more if you like the taste)
Lemon Juice 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

Ciabatta Rolls 6 (or any bread or wrap of your choice)

Method of Preparation

1. Drain water from the tofu and wrap in kitchen towel. What I generally do is place it wrapped between two cutting boards and then I place a heavy weight on top. That way all water will be drained and you will get a nice firm tofu. If you are lucky and get firm tofu, don't bother with any of these.

2. Cut the tofu into small bits. Cut the scallions into small pieces.

3. Add the rest of the ingredients into a bowl and mix well.

4. Add the tofu and mix well.

5. Refrigerate till you need to serve it.

You can use it in a wrap or as a sandwich. Just scoop required amount to the bread or wrap and enjoy!

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Kachumber - Simple Indian Salad

Kachumber is basically a very simple Indian Salad. The dressing is nothing but lemon juice. Just slices/chop the veggies, toss it with lemon juice and salt. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Another dish that I served with the Gujarati Thali


Onions 1/2 cup sliced
Tomatoes 1/2 cup finely chopped
Cucumber 1/2 cup sliced
Green Chilli 1 finely chopped
Lemon Juice 1 tbsp
Coriander Leaves 2 tbsp
Salt to taste

Method of Preparation

1. Chop all the veggies as described above.

2. Toss it with lemon juice and salt. 

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Rotli - Thin Flatbread made with whole wheat flour

Rotli is quite similar to roti. The flour is the same - whole wheat flour. The main differences are that they are super soft and super thin. This is achieved by a couple of changes in the Method of Preparation. A little oil is added to make dough and All purpose flour is used to roll it. The APF gives it that smooth surface and it enables the rolling into thin circles.

Check out other recipes from a Gujarati Thali here

You cannot quite make out the difference in the photo. It was thinner than roti and much softer. Recipe adapted from here

Ingredients (Makes 8 Rotlis)

Wheat Flour 1.5 cups
Oil 2 tbsp
Warm Water about 3/4 cup (as required)
Salt a little

APF (Maida) for rolling
Ghee for serving (optional)

Method of Preparation

1. Take the Wheat Flour in the mixing bowl.

2. Add oil to it (save 1 tsp) and give it a mix.

3. Add warm water little at a time and knead into a smooth dough. Apply the remaining oil around the dough.

4. Cover and let it rest for 30 min.

5. Split the dough into 8 small balls.

6. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into thin circles. Dip in the all purpose flour for ease of rolling.

7. Cook on both sides on a hot tawa. And then optionally cook directly on the flame for a puffed rotli.

Apply some ghee. Serve with some side dish of your choice.