Thursday, February 28, 2008

Paneer Butter Masala

Now here is one of my personal favorite dishes Paneer Butter Masala :)


Tomatoes - 3 medium
Onion - 1 big
Green chillies - 2 medium
Butter - 2 tbsp
Cashews - 1 Rice Cooker cup
Ginger Garlic Paste - 1/2 tsp
Chilli Powder - 1/4 tsp
Cooked Peas - 1/2 cup
Shajeera - less than 1/4th spoon
Jeera - less than 1/4th spoon
Elachi -1
Cinnamon Stick - 1 small
Sour Cream - 1/4 cup

1) Boil Diced Onions and Cashews until the raw smell disappears
2) Add 1 tbsp Butter + Oil in a pan and fry paneer cubes
3) Remove paneer cubes and in the same pan, add all the spices and fry them for a while
4) Add Green Chillies and Diced Tomatoes to the pan. Fry until everything comes together.
5) Grind 1 + 4
6) Add 1 tbsp butter + oil to the pan and add Ginger Garlic Paste. After the raw smell disappears, add 5 along with cooked peas to the pan.
) After the gravy comes together, add paneer cubes and sour cream. Continue to cook for 10 more minutes on low heat.
8) Add Chilli Powder according to the spice level at the end.

Paneer butter masala can be best served with Pulav, Paratha or naan.

Bon appetite
~ CG

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Menthi Koora Pappu


Methi Leaves - Half bunch
Toor Dal / Kandi Pappu - 1 cup
Green Chillies - 3
Tomato - 1 medium
Tamarind - Smal lemon ball size
Onion - 1 medium diced
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Urad Dal - 1/2 tsp
Jeera - 1/2 tsp
Garlic Cloves - 2
Red Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves - 1 Sprig

1) Wash toor dal in a container. Add 3 cups of water and start boiling the dal.
2) After dal is 3/4th cooked, add methi meaves,tomato, turmeric, diced onions and green chillies. Mix everything once and let it cook until dal is almost done. Mean while, soak tamarind in water.
3) Add tamarind extract and red chilli powder to the dal. Let the dal cook for 5 more minutes.

For tempering/popu/tadka

1) Heat 3 tsps of oil in a small pan.
2) Add mustard seeds, urad dal and jeera to the pan. After mustard seeds start to splutter, add chopped garlic and curry leaves to the same.
3) Add the tempering to dal and mix everything once.

Methi Dal and Tomato Rasam with Rice is a very appetizing combination.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Fiber Rich Food

This is some information I have collected about fiber rich food and thought I would share with you. Fiber rich food should be a very important part of everyone's diet. American Dietetic Association recommends intake of 20-35 grams of dietary fiber every day.

There are 2 types of fiber.

1. Soluble fiber slows down the digestion process. It helps our body in absorbing the key nutrients from our diet. It helps in reducing the cholesterol level in blood.

Food such as fresh fruit, dried fruit, vegetables, lentils, peas, oats, potatoes, soy products etc. are rich in Soluble fiber

2. Insoluble fiber helps food to pass more quickly through the stomach and intestines. It prevents constipation.

Insoluble fiber can be found in food such as nuts, seeds, whole grain, brown rice, cracked wheat etc.

Following is a list of Fiber rich food

  • Beans (chickpeas, lentils etc.), stews and curries, Oats, Barley, Oatmeal, Soy products, Lentils.
  • Vegetables such as asparagus, green beans, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, squash, potato with skin on and canned tomatoes also have about 2 grams of fibre per 1/2-cup serving. Aim for 3 servings of these fiber-rich vegetables per day.
  • Whole-grain or multi grain breads, wheat bran or oat bran muffins or those with added wheat germ contain 2 grams of fiber per slice.
  • Fruits that are eaten with the peel (such as apples, pears, peaches, nectarines, plums, etc.) or containing edible seeds (berries) such as blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries etc. have about 2 grams of fiber per whole fruit or half cup of berries. Among all the fruits, raspberries have highest fiber content.
  • Dried fruits such as dates, prunes, figs, apricots and raisins are great source of fiber.
  • Most important point is, make sure you drink atleast 8 to 10 glasses of water daily. It helps the digestive system to adjust to all that fiber.

How much does one serving weigh?
One serving would be roughly equal to the amount of fruit/veggies that you can pick up with a loose fist.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Veggie Pizza


All Purpose Flour/Maida - 1 1/2 cup
Active Dry Yeast - 1/2 tbsp
Honey - 3/4 tbsp
Olive oil -3 tbsp
Water - 1/2 cup
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Mozarella cheese - 1 1/2 cups
Tomato ketchup - 3 tsps
Green chilli sauce - 1 tsp
Onion - 1 medium
Tomato - 1 small
Bellpeper - 1 meduim
Jalapeno - as required
Pineapple chunks - 1 small can
Process for making the dough

1) Take warm water in a small container and add yeast to it. Mix it once and leave the solution aside to rise (for about 5 mins).
2) Take a wide container and add flour, honey and salt. Mix everything once and start making the dough with yeast water and olive oil. Press the dough as hard as you can.
3) The consistency of the dough should neither be too soft nor too hard. Add more water or dough as necessary.
4) Dampen a paper towel and place it on the container.
5) Allow the dough to rise in a warm area (preferably oven).
6) After 45mins, you can notice that the dough has risen around double its size. Punch the thouroughly until it comes to its normal size. Do the same punching two more times in 1 hour intervals. Now, the dough is ready to be used.

This recipe makes a 10 inch pizza.

Process for making the pizza

1) Pre-heat the oven at 400 deg.
2) Take a big pan. Brush it with olive oil.
3) Take the pizza base and place it on the pan. Punch the dough slowly using your knuckles.
4) Spread tomato ketchup and chilli sauce on the pizza dough leaving about 1 inch towards the side.
5) Spread all the cut veggies on the pizza base. At the end top it with cheese.
6) Bake the pizza for about 20 - 25 mins.
Pizza is ready to savour. Bon appetite.

Saada Laddu

Saada laddus are very easy to make and are very tasty too. I learnt this recipe from my Mother-in-law and here it is for you.


Besan - 1 cup
Sugar - 1 1/2 Cup
Fresh grated coconut - 1/2 Cup

Elachi/Cardamom - 3 pods
Cashew - 10
Raisins - 10
Ghee - 1/2 cup
Water - 1/2 cup

1) Take a big pan and make sugar syrup with 1/2 cup of water. The consistency of the sugar syrup should be the same as we make for gulab jamun.
2) Slowly add grated coconut to the syrup by continously stirring.
3) Let the coconut boil in the syrup for 10 minutes.
4) Add Besan to syrup and stir it continously. Add ghee and keep stirring for about 10-15 mins until the raw smell is gone.
5) Crush Elachi in a pestle/mortar. Fry cashews and raisins in ghee. Add them to the pan along with Elachi powder.
6) Turn off the stove and let the mixture cool for around 15 mins.
7) Make the laddus and let them cool. Saada Laddus can be stored in an air tight container for more than 10 days.

Indian Thali

Chapati, Chole, Sona Masuri Rice, Tomato Masala Rasam

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Chole is a very famous North Indian Curry. It is normally savoured with Poori or Chapati. It is one of the easiest curries that can be made even after a whole day of work. Life becomes much easier if you have a can of precooked chick peas / garbanzos


Chick peas - 1 can
Tomatoes - 2
Onion (Large) - 1
Green Chillies - 3
Kasoori Methi powder - 1 tsp
Amchur powder - 1 tsp
Chole Masala powder - 1 tsp
Garam Masala powder - 1 tsp
Red Chilli powder
GG Paste - 1 1/2 tsp
Jeera - 1/2 tsp
Shah Jeera - 1/4 tsp

1) Heat 2 tbsp Oil in a pan. Add Onion, Slit Green Chillies, Curry Leaves, Shah jeera, Jeera to the oil. Start frying until onions are translucent.

2) Add GGPaste and fry until raw smell disappears.

3) Add diced tomatoes, Turmeric and salt to the pan and start frying until everything comes together.

4) Take whole can of chickpeas, rinse it thoroughly and add it to tomatos along with all the powders. Add water if required.

5) Keep lid on pan and let the curry cook for 10 more minutes on medium heat.

Rava Kesari / Sooji Halwa


Sooji / Upma Rava - 1 cup
Water - 3 cups
Sugar - 1 cup
Cardamom(Elachi) pods - 2
Cashews - 10
Raisins - 10
Kesari(Orange) food color - pinch
Ghee - 2 tbsp

1) Heat 1 tbsp Ghee in a pan.
2) Add Sooji to the pan and start frying it on low heat.
3) Boil 3 cups of water in a seperate vessel.
4) Add food color to the boiled water.
5) After Sooji starts to give nice aroma, slowly start pouring boiled water while mixing. Make sure you continously mix Sooji without forming any lumps.
6) Add sugar slowly to the pan while mixing.
7) Fry Cashews and Raisins in 1 tbsp of ghee until golden brown.
8) Powder the Cardomom pods in a pestle/mortar.
9) Add fried cashews, raisins and cardamom powder to the Halwa and mix it once.

Kesari and Poori combination is a real treat.

Tip : We can even use milk and water combination instead of just water.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Bendi Fry with Peanuts


Bendakayalu(Bendi) - 1 1/2 lbs
Onion (Medium) - 2
Peanuts - 1 cup
Curry Leaves - 1 Sprig
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Urad Dal - 1 tsp
Chana Dal - 1 tsp
Jeera - 1 tsp
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Red Chilli Powder - 1 tsp

1) Take a wide pan and add 3 tbsps of oil. After the oil heats up, add Mustard seeds,Urad Dal, Chana Dal and Jeera.
2) After the mustard seeds start to splutter, add peanuts, chopped onions, curry leaves and turmeric to the pan.
3) Fry the onions until half done and add chopped Bendi.
4) Start frying the Bendi, until half done. Add Salt and red chilli powder.
5) Continue to fry the curry until it is done.
Bendi fry and Tomato Pappu(Dal) is an excellent combination. My mouth is starting to water, just thinking about the combi.

Tips : Make sure you fry the curry without the lid on the pan(if not, Bendi gets soggy). Fry on medium heat.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Palakura Pappu

Palakura Pappu or Spinach Dal is an easy, healthy yet tasty curry. In winter, I always have a bag of frozen spinach in my freezer.


Spinach - 1 Bunch
Toor Dal - 1 cup
Green Chillies - 3
Onion (medium) - 1
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Tamarind - Lemon sized ball
Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
Jeera - 1 tsp
Red Chillies - 2
Garlic Cloves - 2
Curry Leaves - 1 sprig

1) Wash dal and pour 3 cups of water. Start boiling dal on medium heat.
2) Chop spinach leaves and slit green chillies.
3) Soak tamarind in warm water for a minute and extract the juice out of the same.
4) After the dal is half cooked, add chopped spinach leaves, chopped onion, turmeric and green chillies.
5) Let the spinach and dal cook well (make sure you donot over mix the curry).
6) After it is almost cooked, add tamarind extract and salt. Let the curry cook for 5 more minutes.

For tempering/popu/tadka

Add 2 tbsps of oil to a container. After the oil heats up, add avalu(mustard seeds), red chillies, jeera, urad dal. After the mustard seeds start to splutter, add curry leaves and chopped garlic to the same.

Spinach dal, rice and ghee with usirikaya pickle is an awesome combination.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

GreenBeans - ChanaDal Curry


Chopped Green Beans - 3 cups
Senaga pappu (Chana Dal) - 1/2 cup
Shredded Coconut - 1/2 cup
Medium Onions - 2
Red Chillies - 1
Curry Leaves - 1 sprig
Garam Masala Powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
For Tempering (Popu)
Oil - 3 tsps
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Urad dal - 1/2 tsp

1) Take a pan, add oil to it and heat it on medium. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and urad dal.

2) Wait for them to splutter and add diced onions and Curry leaves.
3) Add Greens Beans, Salt and Turmeric after the onions become transperant.
4) Meanwhile, boil chana dal in some water in another pan. I boiled it in microwave for 15 mins.
5) Strain the water from chana dal. Add red chillies and mash chana dal. Make sure the mixture is not very mushy.
6) After the Green Beans are almost cooked, add chana dal mixture and shredded coconut to the pan.
7) Add Garam Masala powder and Coriander Powder to the curry and let it cook for a while ( 2 mins with a closed lid on top of the cooking pan).

This curry tastes good with both chapati and rice.

Vedi Vedi Pakodi (Pakora)

It is so cold in chicago... and what's better then garma garam pakodi.. hhuh? Pakodi is the best snack you could ask for on a rainy day or on a cold day... they are the best


Senaga Pindi (Besan Flour) - 3 cups
Rice Flour - 1 cup
Chopped Cilantro - 1/2 cup
Onions (medium) - 3
Cashews - 15
Curry Leaves - 1 Sprig
Green Chillies - 2
Vegetable / Canola oil

1) Sift both the flours into a wide container (easy to mix).
2) Cut the onions length wise.
3) Heat 1/4th cup of oil until warm. Add this oil to the Flours.
4) Add Cilantro, Onions, Cashews, Curry Leaves, Finely chopped Green Chillies and salt to the same.
5) Mix the batter well (It should be crumbly).
6) Heat required amount of oil in a wide skillet. Bring it to a boil on medium heat.
7) Take the batter in your hand and slowly drop them as small fritters.
8) Make sure they are not over fried.

Pakodis can be stored for upto a week. Make sure they come to a room temperature before storing them in a container. Pakodis are great for an evening snack with hot tea.


Sankranti is a festival that signifies the begining of harvest season for the farmers of Indian Sub-continent[1]. This is one of the important festival in Andhra Pradesh, my home state in India.

Bogi, Sankranti, Kanumu are celebrated on the three days of the festival.

Mugulu/Rangoli (colorful drawings ) is a big part of this festival and I am gald I was able to decorate our patio with a colorful muggu.


Paramannam - Rice pudding

This is my first recipe on this blog :)

Paramannam/Annam Payasam is a traditional South Indian delicacy made on all festive occasions. Paramannam is a desert known to many cultures [1] all around the world. Paramannam is usually made with jaggery as the sweetener. Jaggery can also be substituted with sugar, like in my recipe. This is a simple and easy to cook dish.


Sona Masuri Rice - 1 cup
Pesara pappu (Moong Dal) - 1/2 cup
Milk (Whole Milk) - 6 Cups
Sugar - 1 1/2 cup
Ghee - 3 tbsp
Cardamom Pods - 3
Golden Raisins - 15
Cashews - 15

1. Wash rice and pesara pappu together and keep it aside.
2. Bring milk to boil in a deep non-stick pan on medium heat.
3. Add rice and pesara pappu in small portions to the boiling milk, (stir this mixture occasionally).
4. When the rice is very tender, add sugar, stir it till all the sugar dissolves. Now set the heat to medium-low.
5. In a small pan, heat ghee over medium heat and fry cashews. Then add raisins and fry them till the raisins puff up.
6. Add the ghee, fried cashews and fried raisins to the cooked rice.
7. Crush the cardamom pods and mix them thoroughly in paramannam.

Paramannam can be served hot or cold.
Serving size: 5