May 2014
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This time in the lunch menu series, I have come up with simple and yummy lunch menu. Most of us love baby onions and baby onions cooked in roased coconut based spicy gravy gives a wonderful flavour to the kuzhambu. Ulli Theeyal is one of the traditional and famous kuzhambu variety in Kerala and it should be served with hot steaming rice. Any stir-fried vegetable goes well with this theeyal. I love to have ladysfinger stir-fry. We could also have kovakkai, potato, Rawbanana, or other stir-fried vegetables. 

As we are adding coconut for theeyal, stir-fried sidedish would be best for this. Also simple tomato rasam would be a good accompaniment and a digestive soup for this menu. Finally serve this yummy menu with rice and appalam. 

Doodh Peda is a very common milk sweet in any sweet stalls. Traditionally, it is prepared using constant stirring of milk which will result in khova which is rolled to make a peda. This traditional method might be a difficult task for many of us and obviously it is time consuming. We can prepare this mouth-watering yummy sweet instantly using condensed milk and milk powder and this method hardly takes 15 minutes to complete the whole process and we could have delicious peda served in no time. Most of us have seen a light yellow colour in peda and this is because of the addition of saffron thread. We could also pack these peda as a gift and present it to anyone. They would surely ask you from which shop you have get ;-). Try this Kesar Doodh Peda Recipe | Instant Milk Peda Recipe | Instant Milk Sweet Recipe and share your experience.

We all are fond of Rava Dosa. My all time favourite dosa is rava dosa. I always order Plain Rava Dosa whenever I go to restaurants. Onion Rava is also so scrumptious. Preparing rava dosa in home is so simple and we would get the same taste as the restaurant style. I always wanted to try replacing sooji with broken wheat and believe me, broken wheat dosa |Samba Godhumai Rava Dosai | Daliya Dosa is also so delicious like our traditional rava dosa.  Broken wheat is so healthy and also using a non-stick tawa we are going to use only less oil and hence this dosa is a healthy breakfast. The dosa batter which we are going to make should be thin like a buttermilk and hence we need to cook the dosa only on one side with just half a spoon of oil. Cooking in low flame to get crispier dosa takes little more time than the normal dosa but the taste is dainty. Try this healthy dosa and share your comments!

Oreo biscuits are always special for kids. Even grown-ups like to have a couple of oreo biscuits. Why can't we have an wonderful milk shake with these yummy oreo biscuits? This recipe takes only 2 minutes. Like 2 minute noodles, we can make this 2 minute Oreo Milkshake and impress the kids. After tiring play and work, a cup of Oreo Milkshake would surely be a treat to our kids and also to us!

The most wanted Indian Snack is SAMOSA. We all love to eat samosa with our favourite dippings like Green Chutney or Sauce. Starting from street side shops to the famous restaurants serve Samosa as an evening snack. Samosa Pinwheels | Samosa Bites is a slight alternation to the traditional Samosa and is as delicious as the traditional samosas and yet they are quite easy than the samosa as the outer cover making is not hard as samosas. The stuffing looks like pinwheel and also the each pinwheel is bite size and hence the name. Samosa Pinwheels | Samosa Bites are a rich party appetizer and snack too!

Mango Shrikhand or Amrakhand or Aamkhand is a famous Maharashtriyan Dessert made using mango pulp and thick yoghurt (Curd). It's basically the Shrikhand but with an addition of Mango Pulp. This addition makes the Shrikhand very colorful and flavorful. The combination of the Yogurt, Mango and the sugar makes this dessert very rich and tasteful. The Yogurt is the key ingredient to make the shrikhand. Traditionally the yogurt will be hung in a cloth overnight to remove water content from the yogurt and to get the thick yogurt. I have used a strainer with a fine mesh to filter the water content of the yogurt and kept the yogurt along with the strainer in the fridge overnight, so that the yogurt won't get sourness but at the same time the water content will also be removed. 

Masala Paal (Masala Milk) is a special beverage in many of the restaurants. My first experience of tasting masala milk is in Hot Chips, it was so delicious and lip-smacking. I have been thinking of sharing this wonderful recipe, finally I made it today. It is so simple and easy yet so tasty. I have seen slight differences in the masala milk taste served in chennai and other parts of India. I have given here the Chennai Masala Milk with whole masala like cinnamon, cloves, cardamom along with some saffron thread to get a nice colour and finally garnishing with pistachios. The restaurant version of this masala milk includes Saara Paruppu (Piyal Seeds) instead of pistachios. We can find Saara Paruppu (Piyal Seeds) generally mixed with beetle nuts. I don't have stock of piyal seeds hence I have used Pistachios.

Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu is a famous traditional kuzhambu, which is very tasty and healthy Kuzhabu. As we are already using Dals (Lentils/Paruppu) and Tamarind for this kuzhambu, I tried to avoid these in the Rasam hence I come up Mor Rasam. Mor Rasam also called as Butter Milk Rasam is made using Butter milk, which doesn't require neither dals nor tamarind.  Any stir fry vegetables will go well with this Kuzhambu and you can choose the vegetable of your choice to make the Poriyal. Since I had the stock of Raw Banana, i have made Raw Banana stir fry as a side dish. Usually we end our lunch with a curd rice/Mor sadham. Instead of routine curd rice/mor sadham, I tried curd semiya which is a perfect alternative to curd rice.

Just a little bit of planning ahead helps us to prepare this menu quickly.  Remember to soak the dals for paruppu urundai the night before we make this menu. That way we will be able to quickly make the yummy kuzhambu. Raw banana hardly takes time so no pre-preparations required. Mor rasam is also simple we don't even need tamarind soaking or tomato cooking. So this is one of the quick menu you can prepare but at the same time the menu is so delicious!

Mor Rasam (Buttermilk Rasam), a unique rasam variety which is special in Kachipuram District of TamilNadu. I came across this delicious rasam in one of the TV shows in Zee Tamil. Got inspired from the programme, I started doing this wonderful rasam often in my home. Very simple to make rasam using thick buttermilk and freshly ground spices. A very unique variety of rasam which doesn't include the usual ingredients like tamarind, tomato, dal etc. Lets see the recipe now...

Vazhakaai Poriyal | Raw Banana (Plantain) Curry, a very quick and easy poriyal variety. Most of us use raw banana surely on New moon day(Ammavasai). Even weekly once I try to cook this scrumptious poriyal as it is very yummy and easy to make. We can make many variations to this curry. I have made it very simple just my adding dry coconut powder with some spices. The coconut flavour along with spices adds a nice flavour to this curry.

Dum Aloo or Aloo Dum, a rich and special dish in Kashmiri Cuisine and also in Punjabi Cuisine. The baby potatoes are first deep fried, then cooked slowly at low flame in a gravy with spices. Nowadays we all are concerned about our diet and hence deep frying potatoes can be skipped or we can do shallow frying so that original taste remains in the dish. The main ingredient to bring in more taste to the gravy is cashews. Cashew paste gives rich flavour to the gravy. We can alternate cashews with almonds or poppy seeds also. Dum Aloo can be served with any pulao varieties or with any Indian Bread. Lets see how to concoct this tasty dum aloo. 

I have been thinking of doing this week's healthy recipe and finally decided to do Oats Masala Paratha. Paratha, a stuffed Indian Bread which is so delicious and generally served as main dishes in most of the Indian Restaurants. We can have any filling inside paratha like Aloo, gobi, beetroot or any vegetable or even mixed vegetable masala. Oats are very healthy and fiber rich and just adding some masala to it and stuffeing inside paratha making a very delicious main course for lunch or dinner. The stuffing with oats is very simple and hardly takes less time to make scrumptious parathas which can be served with any raithas.

Black Forest Cake originated from Germany. Typically, Black Forest cake consists of several layers of chocolate cake, with whipped cream and cherries between each layer. Then the cake is decorated with additional whipped cream and chocolate gratings. A very famous and most sought cake for Birthday Parties.
Eggless Black Forest Cake
Eggless Black Forest Cake

I tried doing this black forest cake without egg. I have used soda water and other raising agents to make the Eggless Black Forest Cake equally soft as the store bought cake with egg. Its a bit time consuming process to concoct but I bet the end product is so scrumptious and we could even plan to make this yummy cake and present it for our beloved ones on their Birthday! Lets see how to make this yummy eggless Black Forest Cake at home.

Jal Jeera, as name suggests, a mouth-watering, jeera flavoured Indian Lemonade. Jal Jeera is a cooler drink and also helps in digestion as we are going to add cumin, mint and all fresh spices. It is an essential summer beverage and served as an appetizer in many of the Indian Restaurants. Most of the Punjabi Dhaba 's serve this as an appetizer. Now a days Jal Jeera powder is readily available in stores. We could also prepare jaljeera powder at home and store it in air-tight container. Store bought jal jeera powder uses all dry ingredients including dry mint leaves.  Jal Jeera powder can also be used in chutney and other chaat dishes. 

But I would prefer preparing fresh masala along with fresh mint and coriander leaves so that we would get the traditional rich flavour.Cumin seeds in JalJeera not only quenches the thirst but also increases the appetite. Chilled Jal Jeera helps to beat the heat and also helps in indigestion and dehydration. Lets see the recipe of this healthy drink now...

We are finding all sorts of way to keep ourselves cool in this hot summer! I am trying to use all seasonal vegetables in my kitchen and also trying to prepare many different types of ice-cream and juices to help my kids beat the heat. This time, I decided to do Kesar Badam Kulfi. Kulfi are always special to us and we have different flavours of kulfi. Whenever, I go to Dhaba or other Indian Restaurants, I love to order Mango Kulfi, Pista or Kesar Badam as they are really lip-smaking varieties. Lets see how we can concoct this lip-smaking Kesar Badam Kulfi. Get ready to taste this yummy dessert!

This week, I have come up with simple and usual lunch menu in my home. Thengai Araitha Kuzhambu, Vazhakaai Puliyita Kootu, Poondu Rasam and Pappad. I will surely do this menu atleast once a week. Generally I do either jeera rasam or garlic rasam as we are using more coconut in kuzhambu and raw banana may also cause indigestion. Garlic has lots of medicinal values but it might not be good for a weekday because of its heavy aroma. So you could substitute with jeera rasam or tomato-dal rasam. But rasam will surely helps in digestion after consuming more coconut and raw banana. Next, puliyita kootu goes very well with Thengai Araitha Kuzhambu and we can use either raw banana, ladysfinger or brinjal to the stew. All of them taste dainty with the kuzhambu and rasam.

This menu seems simple and hardly takes an hour to finish off the whole menu, yet very tasty menu and your family would surely enjoy.

Tandoori Aloo (Baked Baby Potatoes) is a rich and special dish in many Indian restaurants. An excellent and tasty dish where baby potatoes are coated with spices and baked in oven. Tandoori aloo is very easy to make. Marinating potatoes take more time, but once marination is done, its hardly 20-25 minutes to bake the parboiled coated potatoes in oven. Tandoori Aloo is one of the rich dish when we host any parties, its a great starter dish too.

Godhuma Rava(Broken Wheat) Payasam | Daliya Kheer, a healthy and yummy payasam variety. We are going to use jaggery instead of sugar which makes this kheer more healthy. I always do payasam for neivedhyam especially for Pradosham and this time I thought of making with godhuma rawa (broken wheat) instead of dal or rice. The Godhuma Rava(Broken Wheat) Payasam | Daliya Kheer  is extremely delicious and healthy.

Bharwan Bhindi | Stuffed Ladysfinger Fry, a traditional and richest curry variety in many parts of Northern India. Okras are stuffed with spices and then shallow frying them in oil makes them crispy and yummy dish. Bharwan Bhindi is a perfect dish which would be liked by all. By using a non-stick wide pan, we can use very less oil to fry the okras. There are many variations available for the stuffing that we can use for this dry curry. I am using simple sambar powder which has all the key masalas for the stuffing. This Bharwan Bhindi (Stuffed Ladysfinger Fry) would be a perfect dish for any parties to treat our special guests and relatives!

Banana Split, is a famous and very rich dessert served in many restaurants. Banana split can be prepared with couple of ready available ingredients but would be a rich and delightful dessert to treat our family and special guests. Banana served with scoops of ice-cream topped with tasty nuts and cream make this dish extremely scrumptious.

Pomegranate Juice is a tart but very tasty drink. Its a  healthy juice especially very good for heart health. It's remarkably rich in antioxidants. There are many variations in making the Pomegranate Juice, but I have given below the recipe of extracting clear Juice from Pomegranate and with no added water or Sugar.  If you prefer the diluted juice, then you can add more water and sugar. I also given below one of the easy method of de-seeding a pomegranate. Follow the simple instructions below and enjoy the tasty juice of Pomegranate!

Andhra Lunch are always special. I have seen many people who would love to got to Andhra mess or restaurant to enjoy the taste and spice of the food. This week, I planned to present an Andhra Lunch Menu for all my site viewers. I have come up with this delightful menu after discussing with my close friend who is from Hyderabad. She is a very busy mom for 2 kids and also a sincere IT professional. I love her dedication towards cooking. Howsoever she comes late from office, she freshly prepare food for dinner for her family. Every time I see her I get so inspired about her attitude towards her family. I dedicate this Lunch Menu to my dear friend.

What so ever flavours we have in Icecream, the original, traditional Vanilla flavour still remains special and we all enjoy this flavour. Homemade Vanilla ice-cream is so simple and straight forward. You will get a nice creamy icecream in home with easily available ingredients. We can serve this vanilla ice cream in a bowl or a cone with our favourite nuts and choco chips toppings. We can also serve this with carrot halwa or other halwa varieties. 

I still remember my younger days, when my dad used to take me our during summer holidays and whenever we felt thirsty, he would buy me Paneer Soda, the taste of the soda is so delicious and it is really refreshes our body and gives us more energy in this hot summer. Preparing this wonderful Paneer Soda in home is very simple, just we need few simple ingredients and we could have this delightful drink in home itself which is more hygienic.

My sister always prefer Broken Wheat compared to rice because of the dietary advices. She tries all the recipes which we generally do with rice and substitute with Broken Wheat. Last week she tried to concoct our traditional Thiruvadhirai Kali using broken wheat instead of rice and she shared her experience and advised me to publish this recipe as many of us love to eat sweet dishes but are concerned about calories. Broken Wheat(Daliya) Kali, is simple and healthy sweet variety. Try this and share your comments!

Potato roast are always our favorite. Baby potato roast are even more special and yummy. A very simple and easy recipe, yet so delicious. This can be made in many methods depending on the spices that we add in the roast.  Simple method can be just frying the baby potato's with Sambar Powder. In this recipe, i have used freshly ground masala to increase the texture, taste and flavor. Spice lovers can increase the spice in this recipe, I have used less spice, instead I have used paprika powder to get a nice texture. I prefer Paprika Powder as it gives nice red color, but the spice is very less.

A glass of Iced Tea quenches our thirst in this hot summer. Using healthy ingredients for concocting this iced tea makes it even more healthier and tastier. Green tea is very healthier and I have used grated ginger, fresh mint leaves and lemon to add more flavour and also to make this iced tea more healthier. Sweetened iced-tea is calorie rich, so , I have used honey instead of sugar for sweetness. Drinking a glass of Ginger-Mint-Green iced Tea refreshes our body and help us to beat the heat.

A close friend of mine is from Hyderabad and I always inspire her in cooking. She goes to work far distance, and reach home late in the evening, still she freshen up herself and freshly cook the dinner each day. I always inspire her energy and attitude towards the family and food. I have learnt many recipes from her which are traditional Andhra recipes. Aubergine Stir-Fry is one of her signature recipe and she call this as Vankaya Vepudu. This is a very yummy dish and we can either serve as sidedish or we can mix with white rice and have it.

This recipe I learnt from my Andhra Friend. It is not the usual Cabbage Fry we do, as we are going to use coriander leaves paste which makes this cabbage fry so scrumptious. Normally cabbage gives an unpleasant odour when cooked. Many of us experience the unpleasant odour when we pack the cabbage for lunch and open it at the lunch time. But adding this coriander leaves paste the unpleasant odour goes off and the flavour and aroma of this fry would tempt us to have more and more.

Pepper flavoured rasam is always special and this is Andhara Pepper Rasam. This has a nice flavour of peppercorns. Pepper Rasam is always easy and also helps in digestion. When we have running nose, this pepper based rasam would comfort us. 

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