Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Cinnamon Sticks

Oh yum!!! That is all I can say after having just munched on these delectable cinnamon sticks. They can beat any cinnabon chain at their own game. A very easy and crowd pleasing recipe:) I cannot remember what I read recently that inspired this recipe but I do remember looking up several blogs. Sadly I do not remember which ones and I cannot give credit to a single one. But thanks to whosoever's blog inspired this!!!:)

  1. Puff pastry sheets
  2. Sugar 3-4 teaspoons
  3. 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  4. A dollop of butter - melted
  1. Cut the pastry sheet into 3 inch X 1 inch strips. Pull each strip a bit and twist along the length of it.
  2. Mix the sugar and cinnamon powder
  3. Brush with melted butter on both sides and sprinkle generously with the cinnamon sugar on both sides.
  4. Pre-heat oven to 350 F and bake the sticks for about 25 mins until they are well done. Allow it to cool just a but and enjoy them warm!

Pesarettu with Peanut Chutney

In hyderabad, near my home, there is this little shack that my dad brings the breakfast from very often. This grub has become our favorite for every time we visit and we always look forward to the idly, vada and most of all the pesarettu from this place. This was an attempt to capture that taste although it incomplete without the green ginger chutney that we get. Will try that next time but now here is what I have.

I am really glad I bought this non stick pancake pan. It allows me to make rotis and dosas without a single drop of oil. :)

Pesarettu Recipe: This recipe makes a lot but can be altered by just keeping the proportions same.

  1. Whole moong dal - 4 cups
  2. Rice - 1 cup
  3. Red chillies 5-6
  4. Curry leaves 10-12
  5. Ginger 5-6 stalks about an inch long
  6. salt to taste
  7. Asafoetida - 2 pinches
  8. One medium size onion - finely chopped
  9. 2 green chillies

  1. Soak the moong dal and rice overnight.
  2. Grind the above with the red chillies, half the ginger, salt, curry leaves with enough water to make a dosa batter consistency
  3. Finely chop remaining ginger, onion and green chillies
  4. Spread on heated pan like a dosa and sprikle some onions, ginger and green chillies
  5. When the pesarettu seems done on one side, pressing in the onions so that they don't fall off when it is overturned. Roast on other side too thoroughly.
  6. Serve hot with the chutney.

Peanut-Coconut Chutney Recipe:


  1. One cup roasted peanuts
  2. One cup fresh/frozen grated coconut
  3. 1/2 onion chopped
  4. 2 pods garlic
  5. One inch piece of seedless tamarind
  6. 4-5 dried red chillies
  7. Salt to taste
  8. 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  9. 1/2 teaspoon urad dal
  10. 4-5 curry leaves
  11. One tablespoon gingelly oil
  12. One pinch asafoetida

  1. In a little bit of oil, saute the onion and garlic
  2. Grind the peanuts, coconut, onion, garlic, tamarind, 2 red chillies, curry leaves into a fine paste
  3. In a small pan, heat the gingelly oil and make a tadka with the mustard seeds, urad dal, asafoetida, red chillies and curry leaves. Pour this over the ground paste. Enjoy with hot dosas or pesarettus!!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Jeera Rice

Jeera rice is a perfect end to an Indian meal when you do not have the patience to make a pulao or biryani. I have had it in several dhabas in India and I must say that it tastes the best in the roadside dhabas than in any plush restaurant.

  1. 2 cups basmati rice
  2. 3 1/2 cups of water
  3. 1 cup frozen peas
  4. 2-3 cloves
  5. 2 green cardomom pods
  6. 4-5 whole black peppers
  7. 2-3 bay leaves
  8. 1 inch small cinnamon stick
  9. Any other dry masalas that you add for pulao
  10. Jeera dhania powder - 1 teaspoon
  11. 3 tablespoon jeera
  12. 1 teaspoon ghee
  13. 1 teaspoon oil
  14. 2-3 long green chillies split in the middle
  15. 7-8 curry leaves
  16. Salt to taste


  1. Cook the rice in water just enough so that it is cooked but does not stick together much.
  2. In a pan heat the oil and ghee.
  3. Add the cinnamon, bay leaves, cloves, cardamom, jeera, black pepper and other pulao spices and roast until you can smell the spices.
  4. Add the green chillies and curry leaves and fry until well done.
  5. Add the green peas and jeera dhania powder. Once done., add the rice and stir s that all the spices and peas are blended well with the rice. Add salt to taste and steam the rice a bit. Once done, serve with raita.

Palak Paneer

Ooh palak paneer! There are very few restaurants that can get this right and make it taste as yummy as red gravy based paneer dish. I simply love it because it is healthy (if made right) and goes well with rotis or rice. THis is a very simple recipe that I came up with in grad school and was very happy with. My friend Vindhya makes a variation of this by adding some pudina/mint leaves along with palak which gives this a great flavor. I haven't tried this yet but I can imagine that it would be awesome. I use frozen palak for this because it is much easier but you could use fresh palak too. Although, fresh palak reduces a lot in quantity when boiled and you would need to use tonnes of it to make a decent quantity. The ghee can be substituted with oil but making the garlic-ginger tadka with ghee makes a world of difference in flavor. As an alternative, use a tiny hint of ghee mixed in oil. So here goes -

  1. Frozen palak (About two boxes)
  2. Paneer - about 15-20 cubes
  3. Ginger - 1 inch
  4. Garlic - 2-3 pods
  5. Green chillies - 4-5
  6. Jeera - 1 teaspoon
  7. Cream - 1 teaspoon
  8. Ghee - 1 tablespoon
  9. Vegetable oil - 1 tablespoon
  10. Salt to taste


  1. Boil the palak in water with a little bit water with some salt and puree it with a hand blender.
  2. In one tablespoon of oil, saute the paneer cubes until they are well browned and form a nice rust on the sides.
  3. Make a paste of ginger, garlic, green chillies and jeera.
  4. In a pan heat ghee and add the paste once it melts
  5. When the ginger garlic paste is golden brown, add the palak puree and boil until the flavor of the ginger and garlic has seeped into the palak and you cannot taste raw palak anymore.
  6. Add the fried paneer cubes and heat until the cubes soften in the palak.
  7. Once it is done, take it off the heat and garnish with cream. Enjoy with hot rotis or biryani/pulav.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Bagara Baingan - Hyderabad Isshhtyle

Bagara Baingan is this amazing dish that will turn you into an eggplant lover. This is a very typical hyderabadi dish often served with Biryani or just plan white rice. With a rich gravy made of peanuts and sesame seeds, it gets tastier the day after it is made. So here goes -


  1. 1 cup peanuts
  2. 1/4th cup sesame seeds
  3. 2 spoons poppy seeds
  4. 3-4 cloves
  5. 1/2 inch long piece of cinnamon (This is optional and won't make much difference)
  6. 2 inch piece of ginger
  7. 2-3 garlic pods
  8. half cup fresh grated or frozen coconut
  9. 1 spoon chilli powder
  10. 2 pinches of turmeric
  11. 10-12 small eggplants
  12. a small ball of tamarind soaked and pulped
  13. mustard and jeera seeds for the tadka
  14. 4-5 long green chillies
  15. 5-6 curry leaves
  16. 2 large onions - finely chopped
  17. salt to taste
  18. corriander
  19. vegetable oil - 2 tablespoons
  1. Roast the peanuts, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, cloves and cinnamon separately.
  2. Grind them along with the coconut, chilli powder, haldi, salt, ginger and garlic to a fine paste
  3. Cut slits in the eggplants, making a cross on the top. Stuff them with the paste. Make sure you have 2-3 tablespoons of paste left over after stuffing
  4. Heat oil and add mustard seeds, jeera, green chillies (cut lengthwise), curry leaves. Once the mustard seeds start sputtering, add onions and saute until golden brown
  5. Add the stuffed eggplants and saute until the skin of the eggplants changes color a little
  6. Add the remaining paste, a little water, the tamarind pulp and mix well
  7. Cook for 20-25mins with the lid covered until you no longer can smell/taste raw peanuts, the eggplants are cooked thoroughly and the you have a good consistency gravy.
  8. Top off with chopped corriander and enjoy!!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Tila Chi Vadi

"Tilgul ghya ani god god bola"....Happy Sankranti to all of you!!! This is a special sweet made for Sankranti and the recipe is of course my mums. My sis and hubby loved it and hogged on it though it didn't come out to be perfect.


  1. 1 cup peanuts

  2. 1 cup sesame seeds

  3. 1 cup dry coconut

  4. 1 cup jaggery

  5. Green cardamom powder - 1 teaspoon

  1. Roast the peanuts, sesame seeds and dry coconut separately until golden brown.

  2. Grind the peanuts to a fine powder and the sesame seeds to a coarse powder.

  3. Heat the jaggery with couple of tablespoons of water until you get a thick syrup.

  4. Grease a shallow plate to set the vadi in.

  5. Mix in the peanut powder, coarsely ground sesame seeds and coconut into the syrup. Add cardamom powder and mix thoroughly.

  6. Spread mixture evenly onto the place and cut diamond shapes before it cools down.

  7. Allow it to cool and set and enjoy.
Note: The way this turns out depends a lot on what kind of jaggery you use. If you use less sticky one, it comes out better. The one I used wasn't the right one and it didnt really set well but who cares!!! :D:D Also, make sure your syrup is really thick before you add in the mixture otherwise it will stay moist and not harden enough.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Basic Vanilla and Nut Cake

This Christmas, I decided to bring out my stand mixer and bake a simple cake like my mom used to for all our birthdays. I must say the result was very yummy and we all loved it but it still couldn't beat my mother's cake:). This post goes to all moms who take the effort to make their kid's bdays special by baking for them.....


  1. 1 stick of butter
  2. 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  3. 1 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  4. 2 spoons vanilla essence
  5. 2 large eggs
  6. 1/2 cup milk
  7. 3/4th cup sugar - you can use 1 cup if you like it sweeter
  8. nuts of your choice - I use cashews and almonds


  1. Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy.
  2. Add eggs one by one and continue beating until you form a smooth fluffy mixture
  3. Beat the milk into the mixture along with the vanilla essence
  4. Sift the flour and baking powder together. This step is very important to keep the cake mixture free of lumps.
  5. Slowly beat the flour into the eggs, butter and milk mixture until the batter is smooth and well mixed. Add nuts and fold in. Save some to top off the cake.
  6. Grease and flour an 8 inch round pan and fill it up with the batter. Top with remaining nuts.
  7. Pre-heat oven to 350 and bake for 20-30mins or until the cake is well browned on the sides. Allow it to cool and enjoy!!! :)

Happy New Year!

Happy new year to everyone who bothers to visit this blog. This year's resolution is to blog every new recipe I try out - with or without pics:) Have a great year ahead!