Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Beans with moong Dal


Last month was holiday time here in Germany. Most of my friends had their moms visiting them. When ever I used to call them, they usual reply I got was " I am playing with my son, and lunch?? yeah.. my mom took over from me, she is cooking something." An other friend of my said " I had some shopping to do, so I left my daughter with my mom, and they were playing together, she made delicious parathas by the time I came home." Again a similar story, one of my friend had guests for dinner, and when I called her the next day casually to ask how it went, she said " It went very well. All of them enjoyed the food so much... my mom made Biryani, and it was all sold up. "

So, got the pattern, when moms visit us, we handover the kitchen to them... But I thought I would be different. I wanted to ask my mom to rest while I cooked for her . My mom came here on Sunday... I was all excited... As I have decided earlier, I did not make my mom cook ... I asked her to relax and play with her grandson.

Today morning I woke up and came downstairs to get milk for my son and prepare for breakfast... and what do I see???
She is already up, milk already boiled, and cooled and ready to go into bottle. Everything prepared for breakfast... and she was planning on what to cook for lunch.... my my... u see.... Moms :-)

So its not that we handover the kitchen to them... they take over from us :-) or is it the same ... (confused)

Coming to the recipe... This was made by my mom for today's lunch.... a simple and delicious dish which goes very well with Steamed Rice or Rotis.


What You Need :

Beans : 400 gms
Moong Dal : 1 cup
Ginger : 1 inch piece, finely chopped
Green Chillies : 2, finely chopped (increase or decrease acc. to taste)
Onion : 1 , finely chopped
Turmeric : 1/4 tsp
For Tadka :
Dry Red Chillies : 2
Mustard seeds : 1 tsp
Jeera : 1 tsp

Oil : 3 Tbsp

  1. Soak Moong Dal in enough water for 2 hrs. Strain and keep aside.
  2. Boil a cup of water in a medium sized pan, add salt and add chopped beans. Cover and cook till done. Strain the beans, and reserve this water.
  3. Heat oil in a wide pan. Add all ingredients under tadka.
  4. After the mustard seeds splutter. Add onions, ginger, green chilli and turmeric.
  5. Fry for a minute.
  6. Add moong dal. Fry for a minute.
  7. Add 1/2 cup of the water from Step 2.
  8. Add salt, cover and cook on low heat for 5 minutes. Till the water disappears.
  9. Add Beans and fry for 2 - 3 minutes on medium heat, and then on high heat for 2 min.
  10. Serve hot with Rice or rotis.
Mom's Tips :
Do not add strained water in Step 7, more than 1/2 cup, else it becomes mushy.
Add a handful of chopped coriander leaves for extra taste.
If you are in a hurry, or if you forgot to soak dal before hand. Boil dal along with beans. Strain immediately after done.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Chicken 65

Chicken 65-1

There are many stories as of how the name Chicken 65 originated. Let's not discuss the details of the theories and stories revolving around this name, as the internet is full of them :-) Neither of them are so convincing.

What's in a Name? That which we call Chicken 65, By any other name would taste as delicious :-)

There are many ways we make this dry, wet, spicy, less spicy. This version of my Chicken 65 is a medium spicy, dry dish, which can be served as starter.... along with drinks, or as a side dish for Sambar as my boys like it.

Chicken 65-3

What you need:

Chicken : approximately half a kilo, skinless and boneless cut into bite sized pieces
Ginger Garlic paste : 2 Tbsp
Pepper powder : 1 tsp
Soy Sauce : 1 tsp
Ajinomoto : 1/2 tsp (See Notes)
Egg : 1, whole
Cornstarch/Cornflour : 1 or 2 Tbsp
Oil : for Frying

Chopped Ginger : 1 Tbsp
Chopped Garlic : 3 Tbsp (you can add less or more acc to your taste)
Curry leaves : a few
Green Chillies : 3, slit lengthwise (vary the number depending on your taste)
Tomato Ketchup : 3 Tbsp
Red Color : a few drops (optional)
Oil : 2 - 3 Tbsp
Chopped coriander and roasted cashews : to garnish

  1. Marinate chicken with Ginger Garlic paste, soy sauce, salt, pepper and ajinomoto for about 2 or 3 hours.
  2. Heat oil in a pan. Just before frying the chicken add egg and cornflour to chicken and mix well.
  3. Fry the chicken pieces in two or three batches, till they come to a nice brown color. Drain excess oil using a mesh strainer or a paper towel. Keep aside.
  4. Heat oil in a separate pan.
  5. Add chopped ginger, garlic, green chillies, curry leaves and fry for a min.
  6. Add tomato ketchup and red color (if using).
  7. Now add chicken pieces, and toss them till well coated.
  8. Garnish with chopped coriander and cashews and serve hot with onion rings and lemon wedges.

Chicken 65-2

Mom's Tips:
Avoid using ajinomoto if you are cooking for small kids and pregnant women.
This is a very dry recipe, to make it with lil bit gravy, you can add yogurt and chilli garlic sauce as the base.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Gobi Mattar/ Cauliflower and Peas Stir Fry


Monday Blues.... it is the "ahhhhh no" day for me.

I just had the two most glorious days.. Saturday and Sunday... spending the whole day with my son and hubby... doing what ever I like... lazying on bed for as long as I need....
Now I should be back to work, get up early in the morning... prepare breakfast and pack boxes for both my men. Back to cleaning, cooking, washing :-)

So to overcome my Monday blues, I start my day listening to good music. I love listening to Rafi. My favorite songs are "Chaudavin Ka Chand Ho" and "Baharon Phool Barsaao" sung by him, such a wonderful songs with wonderful lyrics .... can a day start better than this!!
Thinking about delicious and comforting food also helps in dealing with Monday blues in my case :-)

Usually on Mondays I cook which is very easy, which takes very less time and effort.
The recipe I am sharing with you is one such dish which is simple yet delicious and goes well with Roti or Steamed rice.


What you need:

Cauliflower : 1, big and firm, cut into bite sized florets
Peas : 1 cup (I used frozen)
Salt : to taste
Chilli powder : 1 tsp (you can add more or less acc. to your taste)
Coriander leaves : a handful, chopped
Onion : 1, thinly sliced
Ginger : 1 inch piece, finely chopped
Curry leaves : a few
Turmeric : 1 tsp
Mustard seeds: 1tsp
Jeera : 1 tsp
Oil : 3 or 4 Tbsp

Dry roast and grind:
Coriander seeds (Dhaniya) : 1 1/2 Tbsp
Fennel Seeds (Saunf) : 1 1/2 Tbsp
Jeera : 1/2 Tbsp

  1. Add oil in a large pan. After it is hot, add mustard seeds and jeera.
  2. After the mustard seeds splutter, add curry leaves, chopped ginger and sliced onions and turmeric.
  3. Fry for a min or two, and add the ground masala powder.
  4. Fry for few mins, and add cauliflower and peas.
  5. Mix, and add salt and red chilli powder.
  6. Mix well. Cover and cook for 10 minutes on low heat.
  7. Remove the lid, increase the heat to high, and saute for few more minutes till the moisture disappears.
  8. Adjust salt. Add the coriander leaves.
  9. Serve with Roti or Steamed rice.


Mom's Tips:
You can also make this as a gravy, by adding a tomato paste or by adding cashew paste.
For extra crunchiness, you can add some peanuts.

Happy Cooking and Have a Fabulous Monday!!!
Let me know how you deal with Monday Blues.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Double Choco Raspberry Roll

ChocoRasberryRoll (3)

I love anything sweet... cookies, chocolates, cakes.... yummm. Cakes in particular are my favorite, nothing can beat the smell of a freshly baking cake in the oven. And talking about cakes, I always had a fascination towards Swiss rolls.
The two myths which got cleared recently are - 1. I used to think Swiss Rolls are from Switzerland :-) 2. I thought that only professional bakers can make Swiss Rolls

After I started Baking, I never tried to experiment with Swiss Roll, because I thought its a very complicated process.But despite the appearance, Swiss Rolls are in fact very easy to make.
It was easy than the Pineapple Pastry I made sometime back.
Its so light and fluffy , not very sweet. You can have this with tea, or as dessert after supper, I can have it even for breakfast :-)

And Swiss Rolls are not from Switzerland. According to wikipedia, they originated somewhere in Central Europe. Its a traditional German, Hungarian and Austrian type of Cake. And in Germany they call it Biskuitrolle or Roulade.

ChocoRasberryRoll (2)

What you Need :

For the Cake :
Eggs : 4
Egg Yolk : 1
All Purpose Flour/Cake Flour : 4 Tbsp
Corn Flour : 3 Tbsp
Sugar : 1/2 Cup + 1 Tbsp
Vanilla essence : 1 tsp
Rose color : 1 tsp (optional)
  1. Pre heat oven to 200 degrees C.
  2. Grease a 40X30 cm Baking pan and line it with a butter paper, and then butter and flour the paper. Keep aside.
  3. Separate two eggs, placing yolks in one bowl and whites in one bowl.
  4. To the yolks, add the additional yolk, and the remaining two eggs(including whites)
  5. Add 1/2 cup sugar to the yolks and the whole eggs(in Step 4), and beat on high speed till thick, pale and fluffy.
  6. Add vanilla essence and color(if using) and beat again for 1 min.
  7. Sift the flours together.
  8. Sift half the flour mixture into the egg mixture and fold gently till well mixed. Then add the remaining flour to the batter and fold in.
  9. Beat the egg whites (in Step 3) on medium speed till it forms soft peaks. Sprinkle in the remaining one tablespoon sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
  10. Fold in the whites in to the batter (in Step 8) in two batches.
  11. Pour the batter in to the prepared pan, spread evenly with a spatula. Tap the pan lightly on the kitchen platform to remove any air bubbles.
  12. Bake for about 6 to 7 minutes, or till the surface is golden brown.
  13. Immediately upon removing the cake from the oven sprinkle with confectioners sugar and then invert the cake onto a clean Kitchen towel.
  14. Remove the parchment paper, sprinkle with confectioners sugar.
  15. Roll up the cake, starting from the shorter side, along with the towel. Place on a wire rack to cool.
For the Creme Filling :
Heavy Whipping Creme : 250 ml
Sugar : 2 Tbsp
Vanilla essence : 1 tsp
  1. Whip together Creme, sugar and essence till stiff peaks form
Raspberry Jam :
Raspberries : 1 cup, coarsely pureed
Sugar : 1/2 cup
Milk or Dark Chocolate chips : 20 gms
  1. Place the raspberries and sugar in a small saucepan and cook over medium-low heat for about 8 minutes. Stir constantly to prevent burning.
  2. Remove from heat when the jam has thickened (it will thicken further when cool).
  3. Stir in the chocolate chips, mix well to combine with the jam. Set aside to cool.
To Assemble :
  1. Unroll the Sponge Cake.
  2. Spread a layer of whipped cream on the sponge.
  3. Pipe lines of raspberry jam on the cream.
  4. Roll up the sponge.
  5. Wrap it in the baking paper and keep chill in fridge for an hour to set the swiss roll.
  6. Serve chilled, drizzled with chocolate sauce.


Mom's Tips:
You can make the sponge cake before hand.
While beating egg whites, you can add 1/4th tea spoon cream of tar tar or a small pinch of salt, to get full volume.
You can add whole Raspberries for extra taste while rolling the cake.
The Swiss roll can be filled with any filling like, chocolate ganache, any type of jam or just the whipped creme.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Chepala Pulusu / Fish Curry in Tamarind Sauce

Chepala Pulusu1.1

One of the memories I have as a kid were of the days, my mom waiting on Sunday early mornings for the fish vendor, who used to sell fish and prawns on a bicycle. All the ladies from the neighborhood coming to him and the bargaining, the early morning gossips etc. I used to sit and watch while the fish vendor washed and cleaned the fish and prawns.
My grandmom makes the best fish curry I have ever tasted. From the time I started cooking I tried my grand-moms recipe, but always something or the other used to go wrong. I always used to get confused about the amount of tamarind used, my dish used to be too tangy or very less tangy..
So I decided to modify her recipe to suit my way of cooking :-)
The authentic Andhra fish curry/pulusu is made using only tamarind sauce. In my version I mixed tomato pulp and tamarind for the gravy.
This was very much liked by both my men.

Chepala Pulusu2

What you need :

For marination :
Fish pieces : 7 or 8
Turmeric : 1 tsp
Chilli powder : 3 tsp, increase or decrease acc. to taste
Salt : acc. to taste

For gravy:
Onion : 1 big, finely chopped
Green chillies : 2, slit
Curry leaves : a few
Ginger Garlic paste : 1 Tbsp
Turmeric Powder : 1 tsp
Chilli powder : 1 tsp
Salt : to taste
Coconut-Poppy seeds paste : 2 Tbsp (see notes)
Tomato : 1 big, blanch and make puree
Tamarind : size of 1 large lemon, soak in warm water and extract juice.
Coriander leaves : a handful
Oil : as required, I add around 10 Tbsp

Dry Roast and Make into fine powder :
Coriander seeds : 3 Tbsp
Cardamom pods : 6 or 7
Cinnamon : 2 inch
Jeera : 2 Tbsp
Add 2 Tbsp for the gravy. Remaining powder can be stored for future use.
  1. Add oil in a wide bottomed large pan.
  2. Add onions, curry leaves, ginger garlic paste, turmeric. Fry till raw smell from onions and GG paste disappears.
  3. Add prepared masala powder , red chilli powder and salt.Mix well.
  4. Add coconut and poppy seeds paste. Fry for another few mins.
  5. Layer fish pieces side by side. Reduce heat and cover and cook for 5 mins.
  6. Turn the pieces very carefully and cook for another few mins.
  7. Now add tamarind juice and tomato pulp.
  8. Close and cook till oil floats on top and raw smell of tamarind disappears.
  9. Do not mix with a spoon. But gently move the fish pieces or rotate the pan to mix.
  10. Adjust salt if required. Add coriander leaves and serve hot with Steamed white rice.

Chepala Pulusu 3.3

Mom's Tips :
This curry tastes better the next day or after two days.
Mom advices to use Fresh water fish for better result.
To make coconut poppy seeds paste-
Grate 1 cup of fresh coconut (You can use dry coconut if you don't have fresh one)
Fry 4 Tbsp of poppy seeds in a pan with out adding oil till it emits nice aroma and slightly turns brown, and allow it to cool.(Alternatively you can soak poppy seeds in water for about an hour or two)

Add poppy seeds in the mixer and grind for a min, add a few Tbsps of water and grind again.It takes around 10 mins. Then add coconut and grind well. Add water if required. You can store this in refrigerator for 2 or 3 days.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Mango Mousse

Mango Mousse3

I love mangoes in any form. Back in India, during Mangoes season there used to be a competition between me, my mom and my grand-mom, about who eats maximum number of mangoes per day. We even used to select the ripe mango before the other got up and hide it in a safe place :-) It all seems so silly when I think of it now, but it is those silly moments I enjoyed the most :-)
When my mom was first diagnosed diabetic, the first question she asked the doctor was, "Can I eat Mangoes?" And the doc answered, of-course you can eat mangoes, one or two pieces per day, or at the maximum 1 per day, and seeing the confused expression on my mom's face he asked how many she ate per day, and she coolly replied around 6 to 8. I can still remember the face of the doctor, with his jaw dropped.
Yeah we used to eat around 6 to 8 and sometimes 10 mangoes per day, skipping lunch and dinner. That is the love we have for this particular fruit.
After coming to Germany I always missed them. The mangoes we get here do not have the taste of the mangoes in India.
Whenever I crave for mangoes I get the canned ones in Indian store. Well, something is better than nothing :-)

Coming to the recipe, I made this when my friends visited us for dinner, and it was a huge hit. Luckily I made extra portions, because most of them ended up having two portions.

Mango Mousse2

What you need :

Mango Pulp : 500 gms ( I used canned, you can even used fresh mangoes)
Egg whites : 4
Cream : 500 ml ( I used 38% fat cream)
Gelatin leaves : 4
Powdered Sugar : 1 cup
Lemon Juice : extracted from 2
Mango pieces and raspberries to decorate

  1. If using fresh mangoes, puree the mango cubes in a blender along with sugar and lime juice, or if using canned pulp, mix together mango pulp, sugar and lime juice well. Keep aside.
  2. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  3. In another bowl beat cream till soft peaks form and is fluffy.( Before whipping, it is better you put the bowl and cream in freezer for 5 mins)
  4. Soak gelatin leaves in cold water. Heat 2 to 3 tablespoons of water, squeeze gelatin leaves and dissolve them in hot water and add it to the mango mixture.
  5. Add cream to the mango mixture and mix gently. Then add egg whites to this and fold till well combined.
  6. Pour this into a dish and and refrigerate for at least 4 to 5 hours. Alternatively you can even spoon the mix into individual cups or glasses and refrigerate.
  7. Serve chilled and enjoy !!

Mango Mousse1

Verdict :
Utterly Heavenly. It a treat especially for a Mango lover like me.
Make sure you have extra portions, because I can ensure you no one can stop having just one portion. :-)

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Potato with Soya chunks/Aloo Soya Subzi

Its becoming a challenge to cook for my son. He is such a picky eater. But he loves chicken... in any form :-) So I wanted to try a curry with soya chunks... after all its a vegetarian chicken :-) That is what we used call when we were young.
Using soya chunks is very easy and no fuss process and tasty to eat.

Aloo Soya Subzi

What you need:
Soya chunks : 1 cup
Potatoes, cubed : 1 cup
Onion : 1 small, thinly sliced
Green chillies : 2, slit
Ginger Garlic paste : 1 tbsp
Curry leaves a few
Salt according to taste
Garam Masala : 1 tsp
Kitchen King : 1 tsp (optional)
Turmeric : 1/2 tsp
Coriander Leaves : a handful, chopped

For Tempering:
Oil : 2 or 3 Tbsp
Split Urad dal : 1 tsp
Jeera : 1 tsp
Mustard seeds : 1 tsp
  1. Boil a glass of water, add salt and soya chunks. Bring it to a boil once, turn off heat and drain the water. Squeeze the soya if you think there is more water. Keep aside. If you are not in a hurry, you can soak them in warm water with salt for 30 to 40 min and then squeeze them.
  2. Take a deep pan, and add oil. Once hot, add urad dal, mustard seeds and jeera.
  3. After the mustard seeds splutter, add curry leaves, green chillies, onions and turmeric.
  4. Fry for a min and add ginger garlic paste. Fry till the raw smell disappears.
  5. Add potatoes, soya chunks, salt, garam masala and kitchen king.
  6. Mix well and cover and cook for 10 min, or till done.
  7. Adjust salt and add a handful of chopped coriander.
  8. Serve hot with rotis or steamed rice.
Mom's Tips :
You can even omit potatoes and make it using only soya chunks.
In the end if you feel the curry too dry, you can add 2 or 3 Tbsps of milk or cream.
If you don't have Kitchen King masala, you can add chicken masala.
I omitted red chilli powder as I was cooking for my son. If you want it spicy, add a tsp of chilli powder while adding garam masala.

My kid loved it, so I can say that it will be a sure hit if you want to try something new with your kids.

Food Event:
Sending it to the event Subzis for Rotis being hosted at Tickling Palates.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Sambar and Sambar Powder/Thick Lentil Stew with Vegetables


Sambar..its an everyday recipe in most of the households in Andhra. When I thought of posting this recipe my dear hubby asked why I wanted to post such an easy recipe. This was the scene which happened yesterday in our house...

Me: I want to post my sambar recipe today in my blog.
DH: Sambar..... but its such an easy everyday recipe, who would read that?
Me: Yes, I know.. Do you know how to make it?
DH: Of course, its a child's play.
Me: Then why don't you make sambar today?
DH: Why not? Today I will show you how to prepare traditional south Indian sambar (with a proud "only I can do it" smile on his face)

After almost 2 hrs...

Me: Its almost two hours.. what are u still doing in the kitchen?
DH: I have almost completed it... but it didn't actually turn out like the regular Sambar..I am mean it tastes good...but not like the one you make.
DH: I am not sure what went wrong.
Me : (Seeing the outcome.. of so called Sambar) What is this??? What did u add?
DH: Veggies, Tamarind juice, Sambar powder..
Me: What about Dal?

That was it.. at that moment I decided posting Sambar recipe is not at all a bad idea :-)


What do you need :

Toor Dal : 1 cup
Small Sambar onions : 10 -12 (to add as whole) OR Big Onions : 4 or 5, quartered
Assorted Veggies : 2 cups (Carrots, Radish, Bottle gourd, Drumsticks)
Tomatoes : 2, quartered
Green chillies : 2 or 3, slit ,depending on your taste buds
Curry Leaves : a few
Salt :according to taste
Sambar Powder : 2 Tbsp
Coconut powder : 1 tsp (optional)
Jaggery : 1 Tbsp (optional)
Tamarind : 1 large lemon sized (soak in hot water and extract juice)
Fresh Corriander : a handful

For Tempering/Tadka:
Ghee : 1 Tbsp
Hing : 1 large pinch
Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
Jeera : 1 tsp
Dry Red chillies : 2 or 3
Curry Leaves : a few

  1. Pressure cook dal with 2 cups of water. Mash and keep aside. ( I grind it in a Mixer for a min)
  2. Take a large cooking pot, and add 1 glasses of water(around 3oo ml). Bring it to a boil.
  3. Add all ingredients from onions to curry leaves.
  4. Add salt, and cover and cook for 5 mins, till half done.
  5. Then add Sambar powder, Tamarind juice and cook till veggies are done.
  6. Add cooked dal. Mix well. Add an extra glass of water, if you feel its too thick. Adjust salt and add more tamarind juice if required.(i like it a lil bit tangy).
  7. Add coconut powder and jaggery, mix well.
  8. Heat ghee a separate pan, add hing and then mustard seeds and let them splutter, red chillis and roast for a few seconds, finally add jeera . Don’t burn them. Lastly add curry leaves and immediately add to sambar.
  9. Turn off heat and finally add fresh coriander.
  10. Serve hot with Steamed Rice or with Idly, Dosa.


Mom's Tips :
Coconut powder and Jaggery can be added depending on taste. You can even omit them if you want.
Mom usually adds them when making sambar for idly or dosa. For eating with rice, she omits them.
For step 2, alternatively you can add oil and do Step 6 and then Step 3 and 4. When they are half done add water. And proceed with Step 5.

Sambar Powder :


(For approximately half a Kilo)
Dry Red Chillies : 100 gms
Dhaniya/Corriander Seeds : 150 gms
Toor dal : 50 gms
Chana dal : 50 gms
Urad dal : 50 gms
Miriyalu/Peppercorns : 50 gms
Jeera : 20 gms(2 Tbsp)
Methi seeds : 10 gms(2 tsp)
Rice : 10 gms(2 tsp)

  1. Fry all ingredients seperately without oil.
  2. Grind together into fine powder.
  3. Store in an air tight jar.

Mom's Tips:
For long time storage, double the ingredients.
Adding a few curry leaves also gives extra flavor. Don't add too much as it gives the powder a greenish color.

Food Event :
Sambar is my entry to the event Flavors of South India, being hosted by Simply Food.

Sambar Powder is my entry to the event Back to Basics being hosted by Desi Soccer Mom.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Beat the Heat!!

What would you prefer on a late afternoon or an evening of a scorching hot day? Ice tea, chilled juice, chilled beer hmm :-) , or perhaps something with vitamins and healthy.. like a smoothie... yummmm.

I love smoothies especially with seasonal fruit. Coming to fruits, my better half doesn't very much like bananas, and my little monster doesn't like strawberries, he says it has too many small seeds :-)

One such hot evening, two men in my house were craving for something to drink, something sweet and chilled. The drink which came into my mind immediately was a smoothie, but the only fruits I had at hand were bananas and strawberries. And the only way I can make my men have the fruits they don't entertain is in the liquid form.


How I did it

You will need:

Strawberries : 1 Cup
Banana : 1 Ripe
Milk : 1 Glass ( i guess my glass measures 300 ml )
Sugar : 1 Tbsp
Honey : 1 Tbsp
(you usually do not require sugar or honey, but we like it to be more sweet)
Crushed ice

Halve the strawberries, removing the green tops. Cut the banana and put both fruits into the blender, add milk and sugar and honey(if using), and blend till smooth.
Add crushed ice and serve chilled.


Verdict :
Absolutely yummy, healthy and cooling.

Mom's Tips:
Sugar and Honey are for people with an extra sweet tooth, like us. For a more healthy recipe skip them both, or skip sugar and add just the honey.
You can also sieve it before serving, it depends on how you prefer.
You can also make it with Yogurt.