Tuesday 26 February 2013

Capsicum Rice | Kudamilagai Sadam

One pot meal of Rice with Capsicum cooked along onions & specially ground Indian masala

I do not remember the history of this rice, but it was up in my list of fav lunch box dishes that my mom used to prepare for me and my sis.. So I have taken up that legacy and guess what, even Deeps loves it happy So this one has been always cooking in my kitchen once every fortnight.  And you can fix this up in a jiffy. So an ideal treat in your busy morning schedules, once you have the masala ground and stored during the weekend. 

So without much ado, on to the recipe..

Recipe Source: Ma

Serves: 2-3 persons

I Took:

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 25 minutes

I Used:

For ground masala:
Coriander seeds - 3 tbsp
Red Chilly 
- 6 no
Urd dal
- 2 tbsp
Channa dal 
- 2 tbsp
- 2 tbsp
- 1 small stick
- 3 no

For Rice:
Basmati Rice - 1 cup
- 1 no(diced)
- 1 no (medium sized - diced)
Ground masala 
- 4 tbsp
Oil  - 1 tbsp
- As Needed

The Way:

  1. Dry roast separately all the ingredients mentioned under 'For Ground Masala'. Grind them together in a blender and keep aside
  2. Cook rice separately with a spoon of oil or lemon juice so that the grains do not stick together. Keep this aside
  3. Heat oil in a pan. Add onion and saute until they are translucent
  4. Add the diced capsicum and saute till moist
  5. Now add in the ground masala and mix well. Add the cooked rice and mix well

Serve with pappads and raita.


Monday 25 February 2013

Baked Chicken Pasta

Pasta cooked with chicken, capsicum and baked with cheese

It was a lazy morning.. You must be wondering, usually stories begin with 'It was a lazy afternoon', yes, but for me it began in the morning itself ;) So I was on a movie marathon spree. It was in the middle of the 3rd movie I guess that hunger struck me. And since I had all cuddled up nicely on the sofa with lethargy at its heights, I was on high Italian cravings. Pasta and chicken and cheese melting within. Lo, I was ready for action.. Cooking time :D What nice way to boost your lethargy than with baked pasta, rite ?? I had previously done a lot of research on pasta cooking and after two or three unsuccessful attempts, I succeeded in getting it right. So I thought I should share with you all :) Don't look scared with the list down there. Just a few tips, so that you get it right at your first attempt :)

How to cook pasta 

  • Boil water. Add in salt for the extra flavor
    • Most of the brands/institutes specify the ratio of water-pasta-salt as 1000 gm-100 gm-1 tsp. However, the idea is to have enough water to cover the pasta a little over, so that it is convenient enough to stir them.  
    • Cover the pan and allow water to come to a boil. Once it starts boiling you can uncover 
  • Add the pasta now
  • Stir and check every now and then till al dente 
    • Different brands and shapes of pasta have different cooking times. And usually this will be listed in the pasta cover/box. 
    • Hence do not mix leftovers of one with another. This can turn into a mess
    • The time listed will be quite accurate. Hence stick to it
    • Al dente means to be cooked to firm but not hard. This means 'to the tooth' in Italian. It is thoroughly cooked but still offers resistance while chewing. In effect not too hard and not too soft
    • Stirring the pasta is very important, especially in the beginning when you add the pasta, because they tend to clutter together as the first layer begins to soften and release starch
    • Later on have some occassional stirs to ensure that they stay separate
  • Strain using a colander or strainer

Recipe for Baked Chicken Pasta

I took: 1 hour

Serves: 1 person

I Used:

Pasta (I used Penne)  -  1 cup 
Pasta Sauce         -  5 tbsp
Chicken              - 100 gm - Boneless & chopped
Onion                 - 1 no - medium sized - Diced
Capsicum            - 1 no - medium sized - Diced
Garlic                 - 3 cloves
Basil                   - ½ tsp
Rosemary            - ½ tsp
Cinnamon            - An inch piece
Olive oil              - 3 tsp
Mozarella cheese  - As garnish to cover the pasta
Pepper powder    - As needed
Salt                     - As needed

The Way:

  1. For this recipe, cook the pasta just before al dente. A minute less than the time specified in the pack
  2. In a pan, heat olive oil
  3. Add garlic and cinnamon and saute
  4. Add the chicken pieces, basil and rosemary and saute till the chicken is half done
  5. Then add the onion and capsicum and saute 
  6. Add the pasta sauce and stir 
  7. Add pepper powder and salt and stir well 
  8. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C
  9. Lay the pasta in a ovenproof dish and sprinkle over mozarella cheese
  10. Bake for about 20 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving

Saturday 23 February 2013

Baking Partners: A new Baking Group

A group of home bakers helping each other to achieve perfection


Baking a home made Baking a homemade bread, cake or cookies will give the best outcome. However in order to achieve the best results, a perfect recipe and right techniques are required.

We are a small group of home baker friends, who love and want to learn more about the nook and corners of baking.  We are planning to try out recipes from books/magazines and cooking shows.  Every member gets a chance to present their choice of recipe and share important points with the rest of the group.

Main purpose of this group is to learn the techniques, critic the procedure if there are ways to improve, and to eat a delicious food.

Rules are simple, we will choose one recipe and send it out to the group by 16th of every month and the reveal date will be 15th of the next month. On that day we will blog about it. A linky tool will be open during that time and each member can link their post.

First month we are going to do a recipe, 2nd and 3rd month will be a theme and the 4th month we will be back at a recipe. By doing in between recipes, we will able to learn more.

All enthusiastic bloggers interested in baking are welcome, please email Swathi  of Zesty South Indian Kitchen  at favoriterecipes12@gmail.com.

We will appreciate the use of logo or worded link that will help to spread the word.  A bunch of thanks to Tina for designing this beautiful logo

If you want to make it a gluten or vegan free diet, you can do those modifications also.


Tuesday 19 February 2013

Mushroom Dry Fry | Mushroom Pepper Fry | Mushroom Dry | Kaalaan Pepper Fry

Mushroom & Onions cooked in pepper and garam masala

Come the season of penance and prayer, non-veg goes back stage and there comes a tough time of decision on what to make. There were many a days when I seemed to think that there is no real substitute for spicy hot chicken curry or a deep fried fish. But there really are a myriad of spicy tempting dishes that can be made from veggie stuff.. And lent days of course prove that ;) 
And many a non-veggie would agree that mushroom is an excellent exchange offer for non-veg :D Somehow I don't like the flavor of mushroom cooked in the usual way like the other vegetables - with onion and tomato. I always kinda have a feeling that mushroom and tomatoes don't go hand in hand. My all time favorite mushroom dish made at home is my mom's dry mushroom fry that takes very less time and ends up to be a promising dish in your platter. My other recipes with mushrooms are Mushroom Do pyazaRestaurant Style Mushroom Pepper Fry, Sauteed Mushrooms & Kadai Mushroom

Recipe Source : Ma

Serves: 3 persons

I Took: 30 minutes

I Used:

Button Mushroom     - 250 gm (1 pack)
Onion                      - 1 (medium size)
Ginger-garlic paste  - 2 tsp
Cinnamon stick       - a small piece
Pepper powder     - 1 tsp
Garam Masala         - 1 tsp
Sugar                      - ½ tsp
Salt                       - As Needed
Oil                         - 3 tsp

The Way:

  1. Wash the mushrooms and peel off the outer skin. Dice them into 4-6 pieces depending on it's size
  2. Heat oil in a pan. Add the cinnamon stick
  3. When it splutters add the onion and saute well
  4. Add ginger-garlic paste to it and saute till it turns light brown in colour
  5. Now add the diced mushrooms to it and half the required amount of salt and mix well. Cover and cook in medium flame for about 4-5 minutes. Do not add water as mushroom itself will ooze out water
  6. After that, open the lid and cook til the water drains off
  7. Add garam masala, pepper powder, sugar and salt. Saute til mushrooms are nicely roasted and coated with the masala
Serve hot with rice.


In order to peel the mushroom, remove the stalk from the cap. Peel off the outer layer of the cap by starting from the inside. This way you can clean the mushrooms faster as the black spots on the button will come off with the skin peel :-)


Friday 15 February 2013

Rava Ladoo | Rava Laddu | Semolina Ladoo

Sweet balls of semolina and sugar

Sweets! I am a very picky person when it comes to sweets. And rava ladoo is one among the few favorites of mine. And it also holds the distinction of being the second sweet I made all on my own after marriage :D  and Deeps loves this one.. For a long time I was under the impression that it's very difficult to make sweets at home. But then I was at my lovely sister's place for one Diwali, I realised that I was under a very wrong feeling all this while !! It was in a jiffy, she made two sweets and a savory. I should say that's where I was struck with the arrow of confidence for making sweets at home ;) 

Recipe Source : Rak's Kitchen

I Took : 40 minutes

I Used :

Rava/Semolina  -  1 cup 
Sugar                -  1 cup
Ghee                -  ¼ cup
Milk                  -  1 tbsp
Cardamom        -  1 no
Cashew nuts      -  8 nos

The Way:

  1. Roast semolina in a pan on a reduced flame till a nice aroma comes. Keep stirring continuously to ensure the semolina is roast evenly and it does not burn
  2. Cool down and grind it into a very fine powder using mixer. I used fine ground semolina and hence avoided this step
  3. Powder sugar along with cardamons in a mixer. Sieve off the pods of cardamom from the powdered sugar
  4. Sieve the powdered semolina and sugar to a bowl
  5. Heat ghee in the pan. Fry the cashews in it till golden brown and add it to the semolina-sugar mixture
  6. Sprinkle the milk and mix thoroughly
  7. Make small ladoos (balls) out of this mixture immediately. Roll it tight, if you could not roll, sprinkle little more milk or add more warm ghee and roll it again


  • I used confectioners' sugar. Hence needn't powder the sugar. I used only around 3/4 cup of the confectioners' sugar, else it would make the ladoo too sweet
  • While half way through the rolling of the ladoos, the mixture lost its heat. So I microwaved for 2 minutes and then added milk and rolled again

I love making this sweet that I follow verbatim from Rak's kitchen. So here goes this post to the Tried and Tasted from Rak's Kitchen event happening at Nivedhanam

Tried and Tasted Jan_13


Tuesday 5 February 2013

Palak Paneer

Spinach pureed & cooked with chunks of cottage cheese

Hello friends.. It's spinach time. Last week I got hold of a fresh bunch of palak and I couldn't resist myself from making the special of any dhaba 'Palak Paneer'. This time I had them with chapathis as I was a little lazy but the next time I make it, I wanna have it with peas pulav. 

Whenever I come across Palak Paneer, I remember the 'girls vs boys' contest I and my friends had in office. Me and my mates went for grocery shopping together, after office one day and both the girls and guys got palak. We girls made palak paneer and took it to office the next day. And we started off like 'This is the perfect palak paneer and lo-lo'. Then the guys challenged us that they can do better than us. They were very confident as they had our friend - the Delhi guy in their side. And yes, they did bring palak paneer the next day and we all enjoyed the gravy again :D And to the contest - both the girls and boys team believe that they surpassed the other.. What to say, just another excuse to enjoy food na ;) So here goes the recipe which can be enjoyed with chapathi, paratha, peas pulav, vegetable biriyani :)

My other spinach recipes are Cheera Parippu CurryCheera ThalippuSirukeerai Paruppu MasiyalVallarai keerai PoriyalChembila MezhukkupurattiChembin Thandu Parippu Curry & Cheera Thoran

Recipe Source : Ma's Cookbook

I took: 45 minutes 

I Used:

Palak                        -  1 bunch
Paneer                      -  150 g (Cubed)
Onion                       -  200 gm 
Tomato                    -  200 gm 
Cumin seeds             -  ½ tsp
Green chilly              -  4 silted 
Ginger Garlic paste    -  2 tsp 
Chilly powder           -  2 tsp 
Coriander powder    -  4 tsp 
Turmeric powder      -  ½ tsp 
Cumin powder          -  1 tsp 
Salt                          -  As needed
Cream                      -  4 tbsp

The Way:

  1. Wash and clean the palak 
  2. Now blanch the palak. For this boil water in a pan. When the water boils add the palak. Close the pan with a lid and simmer for 3-4 min. Finally drain the water and grind the palak to a smooth paste
  3. Heat oil/ghee in a pan. Fry the paneer and dip the in hot water for a few seconds and keep aside
  4. Heat oil in a wok. Add cumin seeds
  5. When it splutters add onion and fry till it turns golden brown in color
  6. Then add ginger-garlic paste and saute well
  7. Add tomato. Saute till the mix is dry 
  8. Add green chilly, chilly powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder, salt and ½ a glass of water. Mix well 
  9. Put in the palak and the paneer cubes. When the gravy comes to a boil add cream
  10. Garnish with coriander leaves


  • The paneer can be added without frying also
  • If you are frying the paneer in oil, don't forget to dip in hot water. Else it makes the paneer harder
  • Can substitute cream with milk