Thursday, January 21, 2010

Ragi Semiya Uppuma

 I learned this recipe from my MIL who always stocks up her  pantry with this semiya. Ever since I found out about the existence of such semiya(ragi), It occupies most of the space(not weight ) in my suitcase when I travel away from home. Yes, I buy loads of them and try to make it for breakfast atleast on the alternate weekends(mostly saturdays). It goes very well with tomato chutney or with any coconut based chutney. So if you see these packets in your nearby groceries, when you go shopping next time, get hold of them and try this recipe. You get a good feeling of having something healthy for your breakfast or dinner, I sure did.

 Ragi Semiya -  200gm packet.
1 medium onion
2 green chillies
1 medium tomato
4 pods of garlic
1 tsp of lemon juice(optional)

For tempering:
mustard - 1tsp
urad dhal 1 tsp
channa dhal - 1tsp
few curry leaves

Dip the semiya in a large bowl of water for 2 mins. Drain the water completly and place in an idli tray  and steam it for 10 mins.(exactly as we do for Idli's)
Remove to a plate and allow to cool.
Finly chop the onion, green chillies, garlic and tomato
In a wide skillet/pan add 2 tsp of oil and when its hot add the tempering ingredients.
When the mustard splutters add the chopped onion , green chillies and garlic and fry till its cooked well.
Now add the tomatoes and fry till its mushy. Add salt as per taste.
Now add the cooked ragi semiya/vermicelli and stir well till its evenly coated with the masala.
Reduce the flame to low and cook covered for 2 mins.
Add a tsp of lemon juice and mix well (Optional)
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

We can also make puttu by mixing Sugar, Fresh grated coconut , a pinch of cardomom pwd and a tsp of ghee to the steaming hot Ragi Semiya. Kids especially will love it .

Sending this uppuma to JFI - Ragi hosted by Maduram at Eggless Cooking

And last but not the least , Happy to mention that Cool Lassie of PanGravyKadaiCurry has passed on this Beautiful award to me with some demands.

The rules of the award goes like this:

  • Copy the award to your blog. 
  • Thank the person giving the award. 
  • Place a link to their blog.  
  • Name seven things people don't know about you.  
  • Nominate 7 bloggers.  
  • Place a link to those bloggers. 
  • Leave a comment to those bloggers letting them know about the award.
And coming to the 7 things about me, hmm..lets see how far can I get..

I am a big fan of  Elvis Presley songs and movies :)
I have read Pride and Prejudice more than 10 times ( will continue)
Iam scared to death of getting on a theme park ride. Never tried even a simple "merry -go-round"
Love to collect Fridge Magnets from places I travel.
Like to have some "ME TIME" once in a while.
Like to watch Horror /Thriller movies.
Love Surprises..

uffff...made the list..rather quickly than I expected.
and I like to pass this award  to these wonderful ladies below..

Vaishali Sharma
Balakrishna Saraswathy
S of ForkBootsAndPallette

Have a nice day.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Uzunthu Vadai For Pongal

Wish You all a Very Happy Pongal

Pongal to me is never complete with this yummy soft and crispy Vadai's. This snack makes its presence in almost all of the South Indian festivals and especially for Tamilians its a must. In my household we relish the left over vada soaked in sambhar(specially made for Pongal) in the evening during tea time. The recipe is pretty simple and standard and there's not much variation to it. Its always soak and  grind the urad dhal , add some chillies onions , ginger and salt,  shape it and fry it.
But the grinding of the dough  and the "shape it " part is the most tricky one to get perfect crispy on the outside and soft inside type of vadai's. Its requires skill and one can master it through experience.

With much further Ado, here is my version of these yummy treats...
BTW ..I made these for last Pongal(2009) and finally made it to the blog after hibernating for a year in my archives.

1 cup Urad dhal soaked for a minimum 2 hrs
1 medium onion,
1 green chilli finely chopped
1 inch ginger finely chopped
1 tblsp rice powder ( adds to the crispiness)
few curry leaves finely chopped

Gring the Urad dhal in a mixer, by adding water little at a time.If your mixer screams for water add some more. The right way to test if your dough is done is to drop a small ball of the dough in a cup of water. If the drop springs back immediatly to the surface, then you are done
Another trick lies in the onion. Always thinly slice the onion, if you chop it finely, the onion oozes out water and the vadai will soak up oil.Add the sliced onion only when you are ready to fry the vadai's, the reason being the same as mentioned above.

Heat oil about an inch deep in a deep pan. The oil should be moderetly hot.
Add all the other chopped ingredients like curry leaves, ginger, chillies and rice powder.Mix well.
Take a lemon sixed ball in your hand , make a hole in the centre and drop it gently in the oil. Wet your fingers each time you make the vadai
If you find the dough to be watery add little bit more of rice flour to thicken it.
Alternatly you can also use a greased plastic sheet, or platain leaf to make the vadais.
Fry on both sides till golden brown.
 Drain it on a paper towel.
Serve with sambhar or chutney or as it is.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Announcing "Global Kadai" event for February 2010

How many of you have used the exact same ingredients mentioned in a new recipe(non Indian)?  Atleast not me.
 I have surfed and bookmarked numerous recipes(Non Indian) from the Blogosphere/FoodNetwork site/ or any website and have even tried a few, but never once have used the same ingredients(except baking). Depending on the recipe I omit a few ingredients or replace some with our own Indian ingredients. It may be because I dont have them in my pantry, or I just simply dont like the taste/flavour of that. It may be because I dont like cheese, or I dont like that particular type of cheese.Whatever may be the reason , the recipe is altered one way or the other.
According to me "A recipe is something that can be changed or adapted".
I think You all would agree with me.

The "Global Kadai" event is all about doing that and when Cilantro announced that she was looking for Hosts, I rightly grabed the oppurtunity for the month of February.

Global Kadai” is a new food blogging event started by Cilantro, showcasing Global Flavor in an Indian version. This event will bring the creativity of food bloggers to try different recipes from around the globe giving an Indian twist and thereby creating a new look at Indian influence on Global Cooking. More details here

The recipe featured for this month is "Stuffed Mushrooms". I got this recipe from an Italian cookbook, from the library, dont know the name of the author.Have been making this delicious and super simple started ever since.
Here you go.


1 Packet Button Mushrooms (preferable large ones)
1 medium onion chopped.
2 tblsp finely chopped garlic
2 tblsp butter
1 cup plain bread crumbs
1 cup shredded mozorella cheese
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
few tblsp Olive oil
Salt and peper to taste.

Preheat the Oven to 350F/200C

Wipe the Mushrooms with a wet towel, to remove all the dirt.
Remove the stalk and the rims with a knife.Reserve the stalk.
Finly chop the stalk, onions and garlic.
In a pan add the butter and when its hot add the onion and garlic.
Fry till the onion shrinks and turns tranlucent.
Add the chopped mushroom stalks, and fry well.
Now add the bread crumbs , salt and pepper, stir well for a few minutes.
Switch off the stove and allow it to cool.

Apply little Olive oil over the mushroom cap, arrange in a baking tray and bake for 10 mins.
Now tightly stuff the baked mushrooms with prepared stuffing.
Sprinkle the shredded mozerrella cheese over the top and bake for another 10- 12 mins or until the cheese melts and golden spots appear on the top.

For more details and pictorial click here

Here are the guidelines for participating in Global Kadai:

1. Use your imagination and creativity to prepare the above recipe using ingredients familiar with Indian Cuisine. Post your entries on your blog during the month of Feb 2010.
2. If you already have appropriate entry archived, send it along. There is no limit to the number of entries.
3. Provide a link back to this announcement page and also to Cilantro's page and feel free to use the logo.
4. Email your entry to with following details
* Your Name
* Blog Name
* Blog URL
* Recipe URL
* Photograph of final dish.
5.The deadline for this event is February 28th, 2010.
6.If you don’t have a blog but wish to participate in this send your entries with a picture, your name and recipe to before the deadline. I will post the recipes with your picture in my blog and include it in the round-up during the 1st week of March.

*Non Vegetarian is also allowed*If we have any other method of making stuffed mushrooms without the oven,  you are most welcome.Looking forward for different yummy versions of this dish.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Mexican Wedding Cookies for "Global Kadai" Event

Baked these delicious cookies on the day before New year, especially for the "Global Kadai Event" at Cilantro's. For those who are not familiar with the event click here for more details. The cookies were so soft and delicate to the touch. This is the first time I have made, as well as tasted the cookies, it was absolutely melt in the mouth delicious. The taste was somewhat similar to our traditional 'Nankhattai' , but the later uses ghee instead of butter and the recipe is also slightly different.

The recipe given by Cilantro, had chocolate and cocoa, which I didnt use, because I somehow wanted my cookies to be white :).  I used slightly toasted and finely chopped almonds and cardomom to bring out the Indian flavours. Made two batches in two different shapes. I rolled one part of the dough to 1/2 inch thickness between parchment paper and the cut into crecent shapes, and for the other part simply shaped them into round balls(as per the recipe), both baked beautifully.

Here is my Indianised version of the recipe.


1 cup softened butter
1/2 cup confectionery sugar.
1 tsp vanilla essence
13/4 cup All Purpose flour
1 cup slightly toasted and finly chopped almonds
1/2 tsp of cardomom powder.( or crush 4 pods of cardomom to a fine powder  using chapati roller)
1 pinch salt

In a Pan slightly toast the almonds for 7-8 mins and chop as finely as possible
Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until creamy until light and fluffy.
Add the vanilla essence and beat for a min
Now gradually add the flour , cardomom powder and the chopped almonds. Mix with a spatula or spoon gently.
Work with your hand and gently gather the dough and make it into a ball.

Wrap the dough in a platic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for minimum 15 mins.

Preheat the oven to 180C.
Line the baking tray with parchemnt paper or lighlty butter the tray.
Make lime sized balls and place 2 inch apart. Bake for 15 - 18 mins.
For the crecent shaped ones, I rolled the dough to 1/2 inch thickness and then cut into crecents using a lid.

Do not worry if the cookies are still soft in the center of after 18 mins. They get firm after cooled for a few minutes. Take the tray out of the oven and leave the cookies in the tray for 2 mins.

Dust with powdered sugar while its still warm and then transfer gently to storing jar

I thank Cilantro for announcing this recipe as part of the event, otherwise I definitly would not have tried these cookies. I throughly enjoyed baking this one along with my son, who helped me in cutting the crecent shaped ones.

Have you Baked your Cookies yet?...Hurry the last date for this event is January 31st and also stay tuned for the announcement of the dish for the "Global Kadai" event for the month of February hosted right here.

After I published this post , I realised from my dashboard that its my 100th post.
Feel happy... but not much proud about it as it took so long (from 2006) to get here because of my frequent long breaks and not to mention the lazy me...anyways CHEERS!!!!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Turkish Baklava

We were busy packing and moving to the new house during the new year weekend that I couldnt wish you all. So I would like to take this time to wish all my readers and blog friends 

 "A Very Happy and Fabulous New Year"

I wanted my first post of the new year to be on the sweeter side. So I decided to give the Baklava recipe posted by DK (of 'The ChefInYou) a try. I had bookmarked this as soon as it was posted, but I tried it rather quickly compared to my other favorite bookmarked ones. I have never tasted this sweet, but her pictures , the step by steps and the post in general were so tempting that got I hold of a pack of phyllo sheets immediatly the next time I went shopping. 

The recipe was very simple compared to the richness of the sweet, but handling of the phyllo sheets was a little bit dificult as it gets dried up faster.So has to keep them covered and work with them one by one.
As DK had warned in her post, the dish was very addictive and I could not restrain myself going to the refrigerator now and then. Its high in calories, but a piece of this sinfully delicious sweet is worth trying once in a while. I made my version with lightly toasted walnuts and almonds, but I think addition of pistachios would make it more favourful.
I strongly recommend this recipe as a 'must try'  one for those who can get hold of the phyllo sheets.

Recipe source - TheChefInYou
2 cups  finly chopped almonds
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 tblsp cinnnamon powder
1/8th tsp clove powdr
2- 3 tblsp bread crumbs ( I missed it somehow, but better to add it )

For the syrup
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 stick cinnamon
1 tblsp lemon juic.


Preheat the oven to 160C.
Mix all the ingredients for the filling and keep aside.
Butter a glass shallow dish with butter
Place 8-10 sheets of  phyllo one by one buttering each layer as you go.
Now spread the filling mixture evenly
Place the othe 10 sheets over the filling buttering each sheet as you go.
Using a sharp knife carefully cut the pastry into diamonds.
Place in the oven and bake for 50-60 mins.(until the top is golden brown).

While its baking prepare the syrup.
Boil the ingredients for the syrup and cool till its slightly warm.
When the Pastry is out of the oven leave it for 5 mins.
Now pour the syrup all over it.

How easy was that ....
And now for the hardest part ....Wait 8 hrs for  the syrup to be soaked well. You can leave it over night on the counter, no need to refrigerate.

Enjoy a large piece of this delicious pastry for yourself first thing in the morning ...

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