February 28, 2013

Paddu / Kuzhi Paniyaram / Rice Lentil Dumplings


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A traditional South Indian cuisine known by various names viz Paddu (Karnataka),Kuzhi Paniyaram(Tamil Nadu),Guntha Punugalu(Andhra Pradesh) is a very sumptuous and a healthy breakfast.

 Prepared by steaming a batter prepared using Rice and Black lentils (Udad dhall) using a specific mould (Kuzhi Paniyaram Pan).
The Mould generally is made of Cast Iron and has about 7 holes to pour the batter and steam.Off late,there is non stick mould available with 7 or 12 holes.

The savoury version is prepared using the Dosa-Idli batter tempered with mustard seeds,onions,cilantro and green chutney.Served with tomato-onion dip/chutney or Coconut Chutney.

The sweet version is made for festive occasions and also as an offering to God during Auspicious days.The batter is prepared from Rice/Wheat flour,Jaggery,Cardamom powder.

Jain Version : Skip the ginger and onions from the recipe and follow the rest of the recipe as is.
No Onion No Garlic : Skip the onions and replace with grated carrots for added flavor

Preparation Time : 10 -15 mins
Cooking Time : 15 mins
Serves : 3-4


(Image updated on 30 May'19)

Palak Paratha /Spinach Flat Bread


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For all the Paratha lovers out there,another simple,tasty,colorful and healthy version of parathas. A great hit among kids who don't like to have greens as a part of their meal,this is the best way to incorporate it in their lunch or dinner . Good for people with Diabetes as it contains just wheat flour and spinach. This can also be a part of lunch box for kids with curd or some ketchup.

" Sending this to HITS – Diabetic friendly and HITS page"  

Preparation Time : 15 mins
Cooking Time : 10 mins
Serves : 2-3

Jain Version : Skip the ginger and follow the recipe as is


palak Paratha/Spinach Flat Bread

February 26, 2013

Dal Khichdi


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A very popular South Asian food,made across with different styles and called by different names.Generally considered as a comfort food.Bisi Bele Baath of Karnataka (Hot lentil rice ) is a further extension or variant to dal khichdi also,Pongal of Tamil Nadu is yet another version of Khichdi.


The Dal Khichdi is a very sumptuous one pot meal. Packed with nutritive values,simple to make and light on the tummy. This preparation basically is made using rice ,toor dhaal (yellow pigeon peas) and a few mild Indian spices.You can add up some veggies to it to make it all the more filling especially if you wanna feed your kids who are a little fussy about eating veggies.
An instant hit in my home,both me and my hubby have a liking for this.
Mostly served hot with a dollop of ghee and Kadhi and some Papads.The other accompaniments could be Raita,Pickle,butter milk or just some plain yogurt.

Preparation Time : 10-15 mins
Cooking Time : 30 mins
Serves : 2-3

Dal  Khichdi

February 25, 2013

Semia Payasam / Sevayyan Kheer


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Semia Payasam (tamil) / Sevaiyan Kheer (Hindi) is a sweet dish made using milk and vermicelli (semia / sevaiyan).
A quick but a royal sweet dish to entertain sudden guests at home :-)

Preparation time : 5 mins
Cooking Time : 20 to 30mins
Serves: 3-4
Complexity: simple

Photo updated on 26 July 2019

February 22, 2013

Gajar Halwa / Carrot Halwa


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I am basically not a very sweet loving person.But ,this sweet holds a very respectable position in my To Eat Sweet List :-) . My mom has magic in her hands when she makes gajar ka halwa. I try to make like her and have succeeded to a great extent.I customized the traditional recipe of slow cooking a little to make it quickly using the microwave oven.Taste wise I did not make out any difference between the two methods,just that the Short Cut way gave me the Gajar Halwa quickly to please my Taste buds.
Sharing the same recipe with you all.


Preparation Time : 15 mins
Cooking Time : 20-25 mins
Serves : 2-3
Post pic updated on 26 June 2019

February 21, 2013

Poha / Aval Pakoras


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Poha (Hindi) / Aval (Tamil) / Avalakki (Kannada) is generally a part of the breakfast menu. Simple,delicious and a  healthy breakfast.

Here is another yummy dish made using poha.. Enjoyed by one and all.A perfect starter or an evening snack with a cup of piping hot Filter Coffee or Masala Chaai

Try and enjoy too...

Poha Pakoras  / Aval Pakoras

February 20, 2013

Bisi Bele Baath


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Bisi Bele Baath,a signature dish of Karnataka,India primarily made out of rice and lentils literally translates to
(Bisi)- Hot
(Bele)-Lentil
(Baath)-Rice

  A slightly lengthy method of preparation,but the end result is delectable.There are various recipes used in different households for the preparation of Bisi Bele Baath.The recipe which I am going to share with you,is the one that I learnt from my Mom.


Preparation Time : 30 mins
Cooking Time : 45 mins
Serves : 3-4




Ingredients

For the Bisi Bele Baath Masala
1 tbsp Channa Dhall / Yellow Bengal Gram dhall
2 tbsp Dhania / Corriander seeds
10-15 dry red chillies (the spicy variety)
3-4 dry dry byadgi red chilli (no spice color yielding chilli)
1 tsp methi/fenugreek seeds 
1 small stick cinnamon
2-3 cloves 
Curry leaves - few 
turmeric powder
asafoetida

Main Dish
1 cup rice
1/2 cup thoor dhall
1 potato- chopped as cubes
1 onion - chopped as cubes
2 carrots- chopped as cubes
1 drumstick - chopped lengthwise 
50 gms french beans - chopped lengthwise
50 gms green peas
lemon sized tamarind - soak in hot water and extract thick pulp
Jaggery
1/2 cup grated coconut 

Tempering
2 tsp Mustard Seeds
2-3 dry red chillies
curry leaves
asafoetida

Method
Preparation of the Masala
1. Heat a little oil in a pan,add in the dry red chillies and roast until the pungent flavor  of the chillies is lost and they turn crisp and keep it aside.Take care not to burn them.
2. In the same pan,now add the channa dhall and roast it until it turns golden brown,keep aside.
3. Add in the corriander seeds,methi seeds,curry leaves,asafoetida and turmeric powder and roast them until the corriander seeds give out a nice aroma.Methi seeds should not turn brown.It will become bitter.
4.Lastly ,just dry roast the cinnamon and cloves.
5.Grind all of these into a dry spice powder.
6.This powder can be stored in a container and can be used later also.

Preparation of Bisi Bele Baath
  • Pressure cook the rice and lentil with a little turmeric powder and 3 cups of water.
  • Take about 3 tbsp of the masala and wet grind it with the grated coconut into a fine paste.
  • In a deep heavy bottomed vessel,heat a little oil and temper it with mustard seeds,curry leaves and dry chillies.
  • Saute the onions until pink,add in the rest of the veggies and saute till the oil coats around them.
  • Add in salt,asafoetida and pour in the tamarind extract and some water ,enough to cook the vegetables.
  • Add small amount of jaggery and 1 tbsp of the masala and let the veggies cook well.
  • Add the masala paste prepared using coconut,when the vegetables are half cooked.
  • Mean while,slightly mash the cooked rice and lentil so that it blends well when added to the cooked vegetable mixture.
  • Once the vegetables are cooked well ,add in the rice and stir well and allow the entire mixture to slightly come to a boil.
  • You may add a little water,if you find difficulty in stirring the mixture and it seems too thick.
  • Check for the spice and salt and add salt accordingly.If you need more spicy you can add in the dry masala and stir well.
  • Before serving,garnish with roasted cashewnuts or groundnuts and drizzle some ghee over it and serve hot with Papad,potato chips and curd.
Note :
  • For those who dont like the taste of onions,it can be omitted while preparing.
  • Vegetables such as capsicum,ash gourd(white pumpkin),Chou Chou (Chayote) can also be added.
  • Instead of green peas,boiled chick peas /chole can be added



February 19, 2013

Pav Bhaji


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Having grown up in AAMCHI MUMBAI..(this is how we MUMBAIKARS refer to MUMBAI) for 25yrs of my life,this yummy snack has been a part and parcel of my childhood days.

Evergreen favorite of mine,this dish has done its magic even to my hubby and my inlaws.
My mother in law simply loves this dish and even today she says "My Daughter (i.e. "ME" )  makes it well and I must ask her to make it when she comes to India " Indeed a feather in my cap :-)

Preparation Time : 15 mins
Cooking Time : 45 mins
Serves : 3-4

Pav Bhaji

Spicy Chole Masala


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Who doesn't love the spicy tangy flavored channa/chole with hot hot Puris,bhatoora,naan or simple phulka rotis.. Ohh..just heavenly !!! I am no exception either.
There are ever so many variations used in the preparation of chole in different house holds.The below version is the recipe used in our household.Hope you enjoy!

Preparation Time : 10 hours
Cooking time : 45 mins
Serves : 3-4


Spicy Chole Masala



February 18, 2013

Cheesy Bread Bites


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This recipe ended up as a substitute for sumptuous Bread Upma .I had less number of bread slices in my fridge which would not be enough for making bread upma.Hence I cooked up this tasty yummy bread bites.
Can be a very good starter for any get together, kid's birthday parties or even a lunch box menu for school :)
Do try this and impress your friends or kids at the next upcoming  party.

Preparation Time : 15 mins
Cooking Time : 15 mins
Serves : 3-4

Cheesy Bread Bites

February 15, 2013

Potato Vada / Potato Dumplings


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Just as Mango is the king of fruits , I always feel that POTATO is the king of Vegetables.
There will hardly be anyone who dislikes the taste of potato and items made out of potato.
Here comes one such yummy recipe made out of the KING of VEGGIES.

Preparation Time : 30 mins
Cooking Time : 30 mins
Serves : 3-4

Potato vadas / Potato dumplings

Peas Pulav


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This is one of my favorite recipes. A simple one but tastes really good.Be it a part of a regular lunch/dinner menu or  on the cards of  party or a special occasion,peas pulav has its own special position.
Liked by all..children,youngsters and oldies ..Age no Bar !!

Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 30 mins
Serves : 2

Jain Version : Omit  the ginger garlic paste and follow the recipe as is
No Onion No garlic version : Use grated ginger or ginger paste and skip the GARLIC



Adai /Lentil Crepes


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Adai/Lentil Crepes is a very famous dish of Tamil Nadu,India. Made out of a mixture of various lentils and rice.Makes a very healthy breakfast which is protein rich . This can be given to kids in their lunch box or even served as an after school snack when they get back home . 

Adai Avial is a very famous combination in most south indian homes. Kids and many adults also like to have Adai with jaggery and some butter . 
If following vegan diet , then butter and avial combination can be avoided ,instead it can be had with coconut chutney or tomato chutney. 


Preparation Time : 4-5 hours
Cooking Time : 15 mins
Serves : 4-5 
Complexity  : Simple 



(post edited with images on 18 June 2019)

Peas Masala


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I have eaten and prepared various types of gravy using Green Peas,but this is an entirely different recipe that was told to me by my mother in law . An all time favorite in our home.Its simple to prepare and tastes really very nice.

Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 30 mins
Serves : 2


Palak Paneer


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Palak Paneer is an Indian cuisine made using Palak (Spinach) & Paneer ( Indian Farmer's cottage cheese ).
A very unique and a tasty dish famous in North India especially at the DHABAS ( local highway motels ).
Off late this recipe holds a very special and favorite position even in the restaurant menu cards all over the world. A simple yet a delectable recipe. Here it comes for all my readers.

Preparation Time : 15 mins
Cooking Time : 20 mins
Serves - 2-3
 Palak Paneer

Mattar Paneer


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Mattar Paneer/Peas Cottage Cheese gravy is yet again another North Indian dish where the peas and paneer are cooked in a sweet ,spicy and tangy gravy.

If paneer is not available,it can be substituted with Potato.Served generally with Indian Bread (Roti,Naan,Paratha),Poori or flavored rice.


Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 30 mins
Serves : 2
Mattar Paneer

Rava Idli


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Idli is a traditional breakfast in south Indian households made by steaming the fermented batter prepared using  black lentils and rice ground to a smooth paste.

Rava Idli on the contrary is a very quick recipe and can be prepared in a very short span of time.
A speciality of Karnataka,this is the signature dish invented by the popular restaurant / food chain group MTR (Mavalli Tiffin Rooms )

The main ingredient for this is SEMOLINA ,locally known as RAVA.This is to be eaten hot with a dash of GHEE and yummy COCONUT CHUTNEY.

Preparation Time : 20 mins
Cooking Time : 30 mins
Serves : 2-3
Jain Version : Skip the ginger and follow the recipe as it is
Rava Idli / Semolina Idli


Paneer Tikka


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I always have had a liking for the smoked feel of veggies while eating,and have loved eating paneer tikkas and veggie tikkas on skewers in restaurants. My hubby also loves to have them.
Though I wanted to try it at home,I always used to hold myself back for the fear of going wrong and ending up in a bad taste.This time,I made up my mind and gave it a try yesterday.For the first time,it did come out well.I shall now make it frequently with variations and keep posting.
I thought I shouldn't be writing ,but could not resist .

Preparation Time : 45 mins
Cooking time : 30 mins
Serves : 2-3

Paneer Tikka


February 12, 2013

Nylon Khaman - A savory steamed snack [Gujarat Special]


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Think Gujarat, and we are reminded off the lipsmacking food varities and the colorful vibrance . Gujuratis are fun loving and enjoy every single moment  of life with zeal & enthusiasm . 
Their snacks are famous across the length and breadth of India and there will hardly be anyone who would dislike the Khakhras, Dhoklas , Fafda , Jalebi, ghatiya etc .


Khaman is prepared using gramflour or chickpeas flour known as Besan in India , what is khaman , is there a difference in khaman and dhokla , what is the difference in khaman and dhokla ? , what is nylon khaman , how to make nylon khaman at home , nylon khaman , amiri khaman , amdavad special nylon khaman

If you are lucky like me to have been brought up amongst  Gujju families and friends  , you would have definitely experienced their generous hospitality and the love with which one is served when invited of luncheon or dinner . They totally live up to the Indian Motto "Athithi Devo Bhava" meaning " Guests are to be treated like God " 

Khaman and Dhokla are 2 delicacies which will be a part of any Gujurati festive meal . Though the two are often confused to be the same and names used interchangeably there is quite a lot of difference in the ingredients , the preparation method etc. Let us have a look at the difference and then head on to the recipe of Nylon Khaman which was shared with me by my friend Crima . This post is also a big dedication to all my Gujju friends and their dear mommies who sowed the seed for my liking towards this wonderful cuisine.

What is Khaman ?

  • Khaman is prepared using gramflour or chickpeas flour known as Besan in India . This is more like an instant version where the gramflour is mixed in water along with semolina, curd, oil , lime juice ,salt and a cake like batter is prepared . To this batter is added cooking soda or fruit salt ( most often used is eno) for immediate fermentation and the batter is steamed to perfection.
  • The texture of is very fine and silky as we use gramflour mixed with oil and water, hence the name "NYLON KHAMAN"  and is bright yellow in color.
  • Amiri Khaman is another lip smacking delicacy prepared from the Khaman by crumbling the steamed cakes and tempering it with some spices and finally garnished with fresh coconut , corriander and pomegranate arils.  Amiri Khaman recipe is on my blog and you can refer to it by clicking on the name .

What is Dhokla ?
  • Dhokla is somewhat similar to South Indian Idli . Rice along with udad dhall & channa dhal are soaked and ground into a battter which is left to ferment for 6 to 8 hrs . Little curd and green chilli paste is added to this fermented batter and then steamed.Finally tempered with mustard seeds , white sesame seeds and red chilli powder . 
  • Dhokla is slightly dense as compared to Khaman . 
  • Traditional dhoklas are white or cream in color  and also known as Idada or Khatta Dhokla .Khatta means sour , there is a hint of sourness in the batter due to the addition of curds ,hence the name.
  • Lot of variations are being prepared in Dhokla off late like Moong dhall dhokla , Millets Dhokla , Peas Dhokla  etc. 

Preparation Time : 15 mins
Cooking Time : 10-12 mins
Serves : 2-3
Complexity : Simple
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Ingredients
 
For the dhokla batter
1 cup chickpea flour/ besan (150 to 160 gms approx)
1 Tbsp  rava/ sooji
1 cup water (I used a little more than ¾ cup but a little less than 1 cup)
Juice of a lemon
4 to 5 tbsp curd/yogurt (beat well)
1 Tbsp oil
ginger green chilli paste [ use only green chilli paste for Jain version ]
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
Salt
1 tsp Eno fruit salt

For the tempering:
2 Tbsp oil
1-2 tsp mustard seeds
A pinch of asafoetida
2 green chillies, finely chopped
4-5 curry leaves, chopped
2 tsp sugar
Juice of a lemon

For garnishing:
2-3 Tbsp chopped coriander leaves
2-3 tsp fresh grated coconut [optional]
 
Method
 
Batter Preparation
  • Combine the chickpea flour, semolina, lemon juice, oil, ginger green chilli paste, sugar, chilli powder and salt in a bowl. Add enough water to make a smooth and lump-free batter.
  • Batter should be close to dropping consistency almost like dosa batter.
  • Just before steam cooking the batter, add the Eno fruit salt and mix well.
How to steam the Khaman?

Cooker / Stove top Method

  • Add 2 cups of water to a cooker pot or a wide vessel and bring it to a boil , this is how to ready the steamer.
  • Grease a cake mould or any stainless steel container and fill in the batter to a little over 1/2 .We have to leave space as the batter will rise up on steaming.
  • Tap the mould before placing into the steamer to remove any trapped air bubbles.
  • Place the container into the steamer and  cover it .Steam the batter for 15-20 minutes. Donot use the pressure cooker's weight / whistle if you are using the cooker pan for steaming.
  • Insert a tooth pick to check if the khaman is cooked properly. The tooth pick must come out clean. 
  • Allow it cool for a few mins and then unmould it. If you try to unmould while it is hot , the khaman will crumble and you won't be able to make slices.

Microwave recipe.
  • Grease a microwave safe container and pour the batter onto it and cook for 5-8 mins.   
  • The container must be like a rectangular or squarish cake tin . If you don't have , use a round container.
  • Use a microwave safe lid available please cover the box or the tray with the lid while baking so that the corners don't turn out to be rough and dry. 
 Serving Suggestions


  • While the batter is cooking, get the sugar solution ready. Heat the oil in a small pan, add the mustard seeds,asafoetida and let the seeds pop.  
  • Add the curry leaves and chopped green chillies and turn off the heat. 
  • Once the dhokla is ready (a toothpick inserted should come out clean when it’s done), poke a few holes all over the surface of it and pour the sugar solution all over the steamed cake while it is still warm.Cool for a bit, cut into wedges and garnish with coriander leaves and grated coconut if using.  I don't use grated coconut as no one likes that on khaman.
  • Serve along with  mint chutney and date tamarind chutney . Also fried green chillies with salt are served .
Pin up for future reference 

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February 11, 2013

Vegetable Uthappam


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Uthappam is a dosa like dish made using fermented batter. Unlike dosa,uthappam is a thick pan cake like preparation with various toppings such as onions,tomatoes,carrots,peas etc.

Vegetable Uthappam

Chilli Baby Corn


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The sweet,spicy and tangy taste of any Indo chinese cuisine is a treat to our taste buds. All of us just love the flavor of Gobi Manchurian,Chilli Paneer,Baby Corn Manchurian etc etc. 
This belongs to the same family and has the same taste.Sweetness from the corn adds up to the taste.

Try and enjoy and give me your views..


Preparation Time : 15 mins
Cooking Time : 25 mins
Serves : 2-3


Chilli Baby Corn

Gujarati Kadhi | Khatti Meethi Kadhi


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Gujarati Kadhi is a yogurt based gravy which is sweet as well as spicy.  The gujarati version of the kadhi is slightly thin as compared to the Punjabi Kadhi which is slightly thick.  Fried pakoras or fritters are not added to gujarati kadhi 

This is a very simple and flavorful version where gramflour(besan) and yogurt (dahi/curd) mixture is simmered with some spices until the raw flavor of gramflour is lost.  Very cooling and light on the stomach especially on the days when you don't feel like having a heavy meal .

Kadhi is a very good accompaniment for plain steamed rice, jeera rice or a simple pulao .

I love this gujarati kadhi or as I call it khatta meetha kadhi which literally means tangy and sweet . The mild sweetness is because sugar or jaggery is added while the kadhi is simmering.

During summers plain kadhi and Fajeto (Aam Kadhi) are very famous and is prepared in almost every gujarati household.  


Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 10 mins
Serves : 2
Complexity : simple



Ingredients

1 cup (100gms) thick curd / non flavored yogurt
2 tbsp gram flour/ besan / kadalai maav
1/2 inch ginger finely grated
4-5 green chillies
1/2 tsp turmeric
salt to taste
1-2 tsp sugar or powdered jaggery 


For tempering

1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin / jeera 
2-3 cloves /lavang
small piece cinnamon / dalchini / pattai 
4-5 curry leaves
pinch of asafoetida
1/2 tsp red chilli powder


Method
  • Add the gram flour to the yogurt and beat well to have a lump free mixture.
  • Grind the green chillies with a little water to a fine paste.
  • Add the ground green chillies,grated ginger,salt,sugar,turmeric and about 2 cups of water and mix well.
  • Now heat a heavy bottomed vessel.
  • Add the mustard seeds,once they crackle add the cumin seeds,cinnamon,cloves,curry leaves and asafoetida..
  • Now ,slowly add the yogurt mixture and keep stirring to avoid lump formation.
  • If you feel the mixture is too thick you can add a little water.
  • The mixture tends to thicken due to the gram flour,hence we need to keep stirring occasionally.
  • Once the mixture starts to lightly bubble and boil,turn off the stove.
  • In half a teaspoon oil , temper a little jeera and add 1/2 tsp red chilli powder , pinch of hing /asafoetida and pour it over the kadhi. This adds an extra flavor to the kadhi.
  • Garnish with corriander leaves.
  • Serve with plain rice,flavored rice,khichdi or any type of pulao


Masala Bhaath


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I am sure,most of you would have tasted this classic Maharashtrian Cuisine or atleast heard of it. This particular dish holds a very royal portion in traditional Maharashtrian functions or festivals. Though various types of cuisnes have entered the wedding menus,this particular dish holds a remarkable position.

I owe full credit to my prof,Mrs Harshali Patil,for having given me this amazing traditional marathi cuisne.

Masala Bhaath

 

Tawa Pulao


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A very famous Mumbai road side snack.Generally made on Tawa (griddle) using fresh veggies,this yummy item is generally served with papad at most road side pav bhaji stalls.
While making at home,we can used a kadai or a wok and prepare it instead of making on a tawa.

Preparation Time : 15-20 mins
Cooking Time : 45 mins
Serves : 2


Tawa Pulao

Paneer Bhurji


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Vegetarian substitute of Egg Bhurji ,this is a quick and easy dinner dish when teamed with hot Rotis or Parathas.You can also stuff it in between bread,toast them and have them as sandwich.
 
Preparation Time : 15 mins
Cooking Time : 15 mins
Serves : 2

Paneer Bhurji

 

Sweet Corn Gravy


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Sweet corn is always an instant in our place.There is always a stock of frozen corn kernels in my fridge.With good nutrition value,I generally tend to use it extensively in my cooking as salad,gravy or in pulao,biryani.
One day I was running short of proper veggies to cook up a gravy for rotis,that is when I saw this corn and bell pepper lying in my fridge and cooked up this gravy and LO! it turned out to be a good hit !
 
Prepartion Time : 15 min
Cooking Time : 30 mins
Serves : 3 
SweetCorn Cashew Gravy
 

February 09, 2013

Instant Microwave Eggless Cake


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I have baked cocoa based cakes and also vanilla sponge cakes,but trying this kind of a fresh fruit cake was a new experience for me. I had a lot of fresh strawberries lying in my fridge,not sure of how to consume the entire lot,I tried to bake a normal vanilla sponge cake and gave it a nice strawberry fresh cream icing.
 
Preparation time - 15 mins
Cooking time - 10 mins
Strawberry cake
Strawberry Cake