Wednesday, September 26

Stir Fried Pasta

My husband wanted to have pizza yesterday for dinner but for some reasons we couldn't go out... we had to eat food that I prepared. So pitying him I made this stir fried pasta. It turned out decently good J And he has no other option anyway…


                  1.      Pasta – 2 cups (I used penne)
2.      Capsicum – 3 (medium)
3.      Onion – 2 (medium)
4.      Garlic – 5 cloves
5.      Red chili flakes – 1 tsp
6.      Olives -10
7.      Cheese – 2 cubes
8.      Italian spice – 2 tsp (if you have)
9.      Crushed pepper – ½ tsp
10.  Salt to taste
11. Olive oil – 2 tbsp


Step 1: Cook the pasta according to the instruction on the pack with slightly more salt than usual because we are not going to coat them with any sauce as such. Then drain the pasta completely and toss by drizzling some oil to avoid sticking of pasta to each other. Keep this aside.

Step 2: Chop capsicum and onion in to thick slices to match the length of penne, cut the garlic finely and make wedges of olives.

Step 3: Take olive oil in a pan and add garlic, chili flakes and crushed Italian seasoning when the oil is still cool. Let the oil and spices get heated up together , this flavors the oil and also does not brown the spices.

Step 4: Now add onions and toss in high flame, add in capsicum, olives, crushed pepper and toss for 1 minute.

Step 5: Put the cooked pasta in and grate cheese cubes over it. With soft hand, mix with a wooden ladle to combine all ingredients without breaking pasta. Switch of the stove within 30 seconds to retain crunch in the veggies.

Step 6: Serve it hot or warm with few garlic breads.


Banana Marble Cake

I wanted to try this banana marble cake that I hit on some blog and I liked it mainly because I don't have to do anything above it to make it look good. I was drawn by the marble design on its surface and the simplicity of the recipe itself. My neighbor complemented me for the cake and is looking forward to the blog :)

  1. Maida - 1 cup Powdered Sugar - 1/2 cup
  2. Baking powder - 1 tsp
  3. Salt - 1 pinch
  4. Coco powder - 1 tbsp
  5. Butter/ oil - 1/4 cup
  6. Banana pulp - 1 cup


     Step 1: Sift maida and baking powder; add banana pulp, sugar, salt, oil and mix well
     Step 2: Take half the batter in a separate cup and mix coco powder
     Step 3: Preheat the oven; grease and dust the cake pan

Step 4: Now pour both the batters alternately and finally with a skewer or knife circle in the batter to get the marble design pattern
Step 5: Bake it in oven or pressure cooker for 20 minutes. Check with a toothpick before turning off heat.
Step 6: Cool it a bit before cutting and serving.

Drumstick Thokku

Day before my maid had got some drumsticks from her backyard. I kind of felt nostalgic. Kundan hates drumstick; we at home love drumstick and I'm missing it so much now, especially murungaikai sambar. It seems one of our ancestors used to say that the taste of drumstick is in its skin and the taste of brinjal is in its 'kaambu' (The green part that clutches the vegetable); of course not literally, it means we ought to consume those usually ignored parts of vegetables as well. Being from a village, I like to chew the drumstick skin like we eat sugarcane;I know it is boorish for people who want to seem sophisticated. But I would suggest, don't abandon the vegetable itself for its tough skin; drumsticks are real tasty and very healthy too. My amma makes thokku out of drumsticks and they are so so yummy and versatile; you can have it with steamed rice, curd rice, idly, dosa, parathas or any dish that goes well with spicy accompaniment. 

  1. Drumstick - 5
  2. Gingelly oil - 5 tbsp
  3. Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  4. Asafoetida - 1 pinch
  5. Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  6. Chili powder - 1 tbsp
  7. Salt - 1/2 tbsp
  8. Tamarind pulp - 1 tbsp (You can also soak tamarind, extract pulp and use; this would be dilute and you would require to add 4-5 tbsp)
  9. Jaggery - 1 tsp
  1. After trimming the edges, chop the drumsticks to 3" long pieces and blanch them for 3 whistles or until soft.Let it cool.
  2. Now split each piece by light press, ideally it has three faces and so you'll see three strips with flesh when you split a piece. Scoop the pulp cleanly with a spoon. 
  3. Now in a pan, heat gingelly oil, splutter mustard seeds, sprinkle asafoetida and add drumstick pulp. 
  4. Add turmeric, salt, red chili powder and keep stiring for 3 minutes. Now stir in tamarind pulp, jaggery and mix. Check and adjust spices.
  5. Simmer and occasionally stir until all moisture is evaporated. Turn off stove, let it cool completely and then store in airtight containers.

Note: Though it seems like pickle, it would contain residual moisture as it is blanched; so if you want to use for more than 3-4 days, refrigerate it in airtight containers. Try using them within 15-20 days; unlike pickles thokkus lose flavour and taste on ageing.

Friday, September 21

Ragada Patties

Today I tried Ragda Patties which is one of the Mumbai chaat delights. I took just an hour to cook these from scratch. Believe me it is so easy, yummy and more importantly healthy snack and sometimes you can even replace this for dinner.

There are four components of this chaat that have to be prepared separately and  you can dress them up in a minute later on. Some ready ingredients are used to platter it.


For Patties:
1. Potatoes - 2 big
2. Chilly powder - 1 tsp
3. Mint Leaves - 10
4. Salt - 3/4 tsp
5. Corn flour -1 tbsp
6. Oil - 4 tbsp
For Ragda:
7. Yellow peas - 1 cup soaked and  blanched
8. Cumin Seeds - 1/4 tsp
9. Turmeric - 1 pinch
10. Chilly powder - 1 tsp
11. Garam masala  - 1 tsp
12. Corriander leaves - 2 tbsp finely chopped
13. Onion - 3 tbsp finely chopped
For green chutney:
14. Corriander - 1 fistful 
15. Mint - 1 fistful 
16.Green Chilly - 2
17. Salt -1 tsp
For brown chutney:
18. Tamarind - gooseberry size (or 2 tbsp of tamarind pulp)
19. Jaggery - 1 tbsp grated
20. Salt - 1 pinch
For plating:
21. Onion - 4 tbsp finely chopped
22. Corriander - 2 tbsp finely chopped
23. Mixture - 4 tbsp (You ca use fine sev as well)
24. Chat masala -1 tbsp


Step 1: Wash, blanch and peel potatoes; mash them, add salt, chilli powder, mint and mix well. Now roll them into lemon sized balls
Step 2: In a pan add 3 tbsp of oil and shallow fry the flattened potato balls by flipping on both sides. Keep these aside

Step 3: Now for ragda in the same pan that you fried patties, roast cumin seeds, fry onion, add blanched peas and 2 cups of water
Step 4: When it comes to a boil, add salt, turmeric powder, chilli powder, garam masala and cover with lid for 5 min
 Step 5: Now open the lid sprinkle corriander and ragda is ready for serving. Keep it simmer until serving to keep it hot and adjust water for consistency

Step 6: For green chutney, add all given ingredients in a mixer and it is ready for serving
Step 7: Soak and extract tamarind pulp (if you've pulp directly use it), dissolve jaggery to it and boil it for 2 min with a pinch of salt. Let it cool and brown chutney is ready as well

Step 8: Now is the most exiting part and that is plating it. Take a couple of ragdas in a serving plate and pour some ragda over it. Dress with a tbsp of chopped onion, drop both the chutneys across the dressing, shower some crispy mixture over that and then finally baptize it with chat masala and chopped corriander

There you have piping hot and yummy chaat @home with no worries about hygiene.



Thursday, September 20


Today is the first Vinayagachathurthi that we got to celebrate in the new home. Though we don't have a strict tradition brought down by either families we just thought of making it in a free-style way. I just tried few Kozhukattais,Sundal and made a simple pooja to call it a day.

However, preparing KK (Kozhukattai's) was a very new experience for me filled with venturous feeling, excitement, nervousness a bit (you would know why when you do it alone the first time), lot tired due to fasting, angry on myself because i took a overload and very amusing to play with those small shapes like we used to feel messing with those clumps of clay when young.

I tried some 4 types of KK. Pidi KK being the easiest and personally i felt the tastiest as well and seems like lord Ganesh too is reportedly fond of this ;)

Recipe for Pidi Kozhukattai:

Rice flour - 1 cup
Jaggery - 1 cup (depending on your taste and the sweetness of jaggery can add more or less)
Water - 2 cups
Coconut - 1 tbsp finely chopped
White sesame seeds - 1 tsp dry roasted
Cardamom powder - 1 pinch
Salt - half a pinch (Optional)
Ghee - 2 tbsp

Step1: Mix jaggery in the 2 cups of water and bring it to heat until jagerry disolves completely. Filter to get rid of debris any and then bring to boil again with salt if you are adding and 1 tbsp of ghee
Step 2: Add the rice flour slowly to boiling jaggery water and stir rapidly to avoid lumps. 
Step3: Add other ingredients and stir until it rolls up in a roti dough consistency
Step 4: Let it cool a bit and then roll them into desired shapes. However, Pidi KK as its name suggests is typically made by pressing inside a palm in oblong shape with finger impressions.
Step 5: Steam these KKs for 5-10 min and relish them.

Other than this pidi KK, KKs I know are prepared in three phases: the outer cover, puran or the stuffing and the art of stuffing & shaping to steam them finally. For each of these three phases, there are varieties of methods and styles that people follow and I have shared those that I followed.

Recipe for Kozhukattai Outer Cover:


1. Raw rice - 2 cups
2. Oil - 4 tbsp
3. Salt - 1tsp
4. Water - 5 cups


Step 1: Wash and Soak the rice, say for some 3 hours
Step 2: Drain the water thoroughly; measure 5 cups water in a jug and use only that from now on for the recipe
Step 3: In a mixer grind the rice to very smooth paste using some of the water from jug and make it to pour-able consistency
Step 4: Bring the remaining water in the jug to boil with salt and a couple of spoons of oil in it
Step 5: In the boiling water add the batter and stir continuously to avoid lumps.
Step 6: Add rest of the oil and stir till dough like consistency is obtained. This dough can be used to make covers for the puran KKs.
Step 7: Now roll small balls of these by greasing your palms with oil and place it in between plastic sheets and roll with rolling pin or press with a plate on it to get round thin sheets.
Step 8: Place the puran portion (couple of recipes discussed below) in middle of this sheet and mould into desired shapes. Garlic pod shape, spherical shape, D- shape and oblong shapes are very commonly adapted shapes for KK. You get molds of different shapes called 'Choppu' in the market, though hand moulding is an interesting art people prefer.

I had prepared one sweet puran with coconut and one savory puran with urad dal which I've discussed here.

Recipe for Coconut Puran:


1. Coconut - 1 cup grated
2. Jaggery - 1 cup grated
3. Cardamom Powder -1tsp
4. Rice flour - 1-2 tbsp (If required)
5. Ghee - 1 tbsp

Step 1: Grate the jaggery and heat it in a pan with few drops of water until it completely dissolves and comes to boil
Step 2: Stir in the grated coconut and cardamom powder
Step 3: See if it thicken doesn't seem to thicken in next 5 minutes, sprinkle some rice flour over it and stir until it becomes a loose solid.
Step 4: Turn off the gas and let it cool a bit
Step 5: When it is warm, grease your palms and roll small portion of it into gooseberry sized puran balls.
Step 6: I made tower shaped KKs with cocconut puran

I tried the savoury type KK with Urad dal; this is not very spicy, but is salty and flavorsome. They are good to munch in between your very sweet versions of KKs with some balancing act of healthy steamed dal as well. It can be relished as a snack off the festival as well.

Recipe for Urad dal puran:

Urad dal - 1/2 cup
Green chillies - 2
Salt - 1 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Mint leaves - To garnish

Step 1: Wash and soak urad dal for 1 hour
Step 2: Drain the water completely and pulse in a mixer jar along with chopped chilies and salt until you get a course and moist powder.
Step 3: Roll them into balls and steam them for 5-10 minutes
Step 4: Once cooled, crush the balls to get a course powder (Like that of paneer bhurji or idli upma)
Step 5: Heat oil in a pan, splutter mustard seeds, sprinkle asafoetida, throw in curry leaves and finally add urad bhurji and toss a bit. 
Step 6: Turn off the stove; when it is a little warm, roll into small puran balls (in case it is dry it could crumble and not form balls; it is still ok to use the mix for puran as they still taste the same)
Step 7: I made spherical savory KK's this time.

And this one is an interesting version of KK called mani KK/ pearl KK/ ammini KK and so on. This is prepared by rolling the white dough into tiny balls, steaming them and then tossing them with the crushed savory puran; you can add a pinch of pepper powder to enhance the spice level. Again, these tiny balls can be spiced in varities of ways like we season pasta.