Monday, October 22, 2007

My Navarathri Golu

These are pics of my Golu this year. My hubby was very nice and built the golu padis after multiple trips to home depot this year. We didnt really get much time to do other stuff like park and other peripheral decorations but hopefully next year. I also bought some dolls from Michaels (Thanksgiving couple, birds, halloween pumpkin garden, etc) :) .... The rangoli on the side is done with rice flour mixed with some water and comes out really well on the hardwood floor but as you can see I had alignment issues ;) .....Oh well you always learn something new! The Japanese dolls on the third step from the top were a gift from my friend Vindhya and I loved how well they went with the rest of my international souvenirs that I put up to fill up the steps. I called that my international step. So far I have "Ashtalakshmi set", Karthikeyan, "Marapachi" couple and some others. I plan to buy some more in India this year.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Paneer Pizza

Credit/Thanks: I must give the credit for this recipe to a friend/cousin Kanaka who made this for our potluck and got me hooked to the idea of desi style pizza. I remember having paneer pizza in India but hadn't really tasted it in US until she made it for us. So, thanks Kanaka!


  • Store bought pizza base ( I used Boboli brand)
  • Marinara sauce
  • Paneer (about 15 small cubes)
  • Red onions (diced small)
  • Capsicum - red, green, yellow - whatever you have on hand (diced small)
  • Cilantr0 - finely chopped
  • Lemon -1/2
  • Garam masala - 1/4th teaspoon
  • Tandoori masala - 1/4th teaspoon
  • Chilli powder - 1/4 teaspoon
  • Haldi - 1 pinch
  • Mustard seeds and jeera seeds for tadka
  • 1 table spoon oil - vegetable or olive


Heat the oil in a pan and do the tadka. Add 3/4th the onions and paneer and saute.
Add all the masala and marinara or any pizza base sauce and some water to get the right consistency.
Spread on the pizza base evenly and sprinkle the bell peppers and cheese on top
Preheat oven to 350 and bake for about 20min (15min if you don't like it too crisp)
Once out, sprinkle the chopped corriander and lemon juice and enjoy!!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Ukadiche Modak / Kozhakattai

Come Ganesh Chaturti and my hubby starts fantasizing about modaks or kozhakattai as they call it in Tamil. My mom makes them with a sugar-coconut stuffing but my MIL makes it with a jaggery-coconut stuffing. So, i eventually end up making both :) .....More modaks were never a bad thing eh! :D Enjoy the recipe.



1) 1 cup grated fresh/frozen coconut (not dried coconut)
2) 3/4th cup sugar/jaggery
3) 1/2 teaspoon cardomom powder


Heat a pan and start warming up the coconut. Once it is warmed up (not screaming hot/burning), add the sugar/jaggery and heat till it melts and mixes with the coconut. Turn off the gas/burner and add in the cardamom powder and mizx thoroughly. Let it rest for a few minutes

Modak Covering :


1) 1 cup rice flour
2) 1 cup water
3) 1/2 teaspoon salt


Add salt to water and boil. Once it is boiling with bubbles rising, add the rice flour to it and stir continuously while the heat is still on. The objective is to cook the rice flour a little and you can see that it is cooked when it stop looking like four and starts looking more like dough. Get the dough off the heat and dump it onto a working surface. The trick is to start kneading it while it is still hot. If you are scared of burning it wait a couple of minutes. Oil yours hands a little before you start kneading to prevent it from sticking to your hands.

Modak making procedure: Make a ball half the size of a tt ball and flatten it into a circular disk. Place a spoonful of the coconut mixture into the dish and try closing in the ends of the circular disk. Once you have them together, mould the top to be pointy and place aside. Keep your hands well oiled to prevent sticking.

Now place all the modaks into a steamer and steam until the outer covering turns translucent. Eat with some ghee if you aren't on a diet. Enjoy!!!

Posts without pics

I am going to start posting recipes without pics mainly because its better than not blogging at all!!!! My laziness and the loss of my camera charger have made this blog go really stale. So, look forward to a lot of recipes going forward.........:)

Friday, May 04, 2007

Baked Ravioli

This recipe was a by product of my need to finish up a huge packet of frozen spincach ravioli from Costco. The first time I made it with a tomato basil base but the use of pesto for this dish, like any other, improves it phenomenally. Now my hubby loves this so much that I always make excess and it also recently won the title of "Best Veggie Dish" and "Best Comfort Food" in my office potluck. So here goes.....


  • Frozen or fresh spinach ravioli or any ravioli of your choice - 20/25 ravioli pieces
  • Cherry tomatoes - 15-20
  • Bell peppers julienne cut- all colors and any number you like
  • Sun dried tomatoes
  • Olives (chopped)
  • Pine nuts - handful
  • Pesto Sauce - 1 cup (I user Trader's Joe's pesto but you could make your own)
  • Basil leaves julienne cut- 5/6 (optional)
  • Mozarella cheese grated - 1 cup
  • Parmesan cheese grated - 1 cup
  • Sale to taste
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Crushed black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Whole Garlic
  • Heat water with some salt and boil the ravioli until al-dente (not too soft and still has some bite left to it)
  • In a pan, heat some olive oil and toast the pinenuts and garlic until brown
  • Saute the bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, olives and sun dried tomatoes until semi cooked
  • Add the pesto sauce, crushed black and red pepper and some salt to taste to the cooked veggies
  • In a baking pan, layer the bottom with the ravioli. Top it with a layer of the veggies with pesto and a light layer of mozarella chese , parmesan cheese and basil leaves
  • Add another layer of ravioli and veggies
  • Top with mozarella first and then parmesan. When broiled the parmesan will harden up on the top giving a crispy crust.
  • Stick the baking pan in the oven preheated at 350F for 15-20 mins or until you see a golden brown crust on top
  • Serve with fresh grated parmesan cheese and chopped basil on top.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Pepper Rasam


One big lump of tamarind
Pepper corns - 1 teaspoon
Corriander seeds (dhania) - 1 teaspoon
Urad daal - 1 tea spoon
Red chillies - 3 or 4
Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
Curry Leaves - 7 or 8
Jaggery (optional)
Ghee - 1 teaspoon
Oil - 1 teaspoon
Mustard seeds


1) In the oil lightly roast the pepper corns, red chillies, dhania seeds and urad dal until golden brown. Grind and make a paste.
2) Grind the cumin seeds and currey leaves without roasting
3) Soak tamarind in water to make pulp and mix the above two with the pulp and a couple of cups of water
4) Bring it to a boil till the smell of raw tamarind goes away.
5) Add salt to taste and a little bit of jaggery (optional)
6) Temper mustard seeds, 1 red chilly and a couple of curry leaves in ghee and top off the boiling rasam. Serve hot as soup of with some rice.

Note: This rasam is extremely good for colds, sore throats and sinus congestions.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

French Onion Soup & Spicy Asparagus

French Onion Soup

I was inspired to try this recipe after having an amazing bowl of french onion soup at a French/Italian restaurant called "The Vans on the Hill". Its a cozy little place on top of a small hill with a great view. So I did a little research online (specifically the recipe on this blog- - helped me a lot) and mixed and matched a couple of recipes to come up with this -


1) One medium sized white onion (thinly sliced into 1 inch pieces)
2) A bunch of green(spring) onions (finely chopped)
3) An inch wide cube of butter (You could use margarine if you like)
4) A tea spoon of all purpose flour
5) Salt & pepper to season
6) Vegetable broth
7) Fresh thyme
8) Crushed garlic
9) A mini french baguette of any bread of your choice
10) Grated mozzarella cheese


1) In a pan, melt the butter and saute the white onions until golden brown. For extra flavor saute until the edges are a little burnt.
2) Set some chopped green onions aside for garnishing. Add the rest of the green onions, crushed garlic and thyme and saute for 2 minutes.
3) Add the all purpose flour and let it brown for a minute.
4) Pour in the vegetable broth and season with salt and pepper.
5) While the soup comes to a simmer, cut the french baguette into slices big enough to cover the bowl that you will be serving the soup in. Place these under the browler until the edges are golden brown. Top them with the grated cheese and shove them under the broiler again until the cheese melts.
6) Dish out the bubbling soup into a bowl and top it with the slice of bread so that it is half soaked. Sprinkle the green onions set aside and enjoy!!!!

Note: If you want to spice this up a bit you could add some red chilli flakes or flavour it with a couple of drops of soy sauce.

Spicy Asparagus

This recipe was inspired by a couple of shows on food network and I have seen Rachael and Giada make amazing variations of Asparagus. This is my own version:)


1) 10-15 stalks of asparagus
2) 5-10 cloves of garlic
3) Olive oil
4) Sale and pepper
5) Red chili flakes


1) Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Break the bottoms off the asparagus stalks. A great trick suggestion by a cook on the food network is to bend the asparagus until the unwanted part splits away from the tender part.
2) Spread out the asparagus on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil (to make clean up easier)
3) Spray or brush olive oil to coat the asparagus and sprinkle salt, pepper, red chili flakes and finely chopped garlic on top of the asparagus.
4) Bake the asparagus for 10 minutes and flip over the asparagus stalks and bake again for 10 minutes. Serve hot and enjoy!

Note: You may season with some lemon juice before serving to get a citrus tang to the asparagus:)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

I promise to make a comeback!

I am extremely excited to be back to the blog world. I look forward to trying out some exciting recipes and posting them here.....Coming soon........................:)