Monday, March 30

Malai Kofta

This dish comes for special occassions, Malai ( Cream) Kofta; it has the richness of cream and dry fruits and lots of aromatic flavours. First time when i tried this , it was a total mess. I don't know, i think the potatoes were some new ones(for that season, as i remember told by my mom ..or were they old ?? ). Anyways, the result was the potatoes were too sticky and even after dipping my hands in oil, i wasn't able to make balls out of it. Somehow with the help of my mom ,with the tips given at last, finally balls were made and i was able to make delicious Kofta's.
These koftas are served in a creamy gravy (which i got correct without her help). Malai Kofta is served best with Naan (tandoor-baked flatbread), kulcha's or Jeera rice.


For koftas:

250 gms(4 large) boiled potatoes
50 gms paneer mashed
50 gms Khoya(thickned milk, optional)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (almonds,raisins and cashewnuts)
1 tsp garam masala powder
Salt to taste
Oil to deep fry the koftas

For the sauce:

3 tbsps cooking oil
2 large onions grated
1 tomato pureed
2 tbsps garlic garlic paste
2 tsps coriander powder
2 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp garam masala powder
1 cup milk(approx)
1 tbsp khoya
1 tbsp fresh curd
Salt to taste
Fresh cream to garnish


Grate the potatoes(so as there's no lumps and its even thoroughly). Season with salt.
Mix all the other ingredients separately for koftas, add salt to taste and make small small balls out of it.
Shape the potato mixture like a bowl and put the paneer mix balls in the center and then roll into perfect rounds.
Heat the oil to fry the koftas, on a medium flame. Deep fry these rounds till light golden brown in colour.
Drain on paper towels and keep aside.
If the potatoes are sticky, and are not manageble, add a bit of cornflour in the mix, or can coat it with cornflour paste and then fry. More tips in the end.

For the gravy, first heat the 3 tbsps of oil in a deep pan and add ginger garlic paste to it.
Then fry the onions till it is light brown in color and the oil begins to separate from the onions.
Then first add red chilli powder and then all other dry spices and then immediately add tomato puree to it. Fry till oil separates.
Add khoya ,a bit of salt and curd. Fry .
Then add milk slowly and water to get a desired thick consistency (not too thin), and cook. Mix well.
Bring the gravy to a boil and then reduce the fire to a simmer.


At the time of serving, place the kofta's in the dish, and pour hot gravy over it. And then garnish each kofta's with the whipped cream and serve.
Serve with hot Naans ,Kulcha's or Jeera Rice.


Instead of directly pureeing the tomatoes you can blanch them first in hot water and then puree, it gives better taste n color too.
If potatoes are sticky still, you can add a bread slice (edges removed), or even soaked pooha(rice flakes) to it.
If you don't have khoya, use Ricotta cheese.Just bake the same in Microwave,the cheese will crumble and can be substituted for khoya.
And most important DO NOT add kofta's in the gravy beforehand. The balls will absorb lots of gravy and will be tooo soft, to pour.Can see my gravy is looking thin a bit in snap, but eventually it got thicker.

Also, there's some flowers, Rose, that i tried making with apple's peel. Did u liked them???
Sending this Malai Kofta to RCI: Lucknow started by Lakshmi


Friday, March 27

Onion Kulcha

Kulcha, its a type of Indian bread quite similar in looks and appearance to a naan(another very famous indian bread), just without the elongated shape and are much softer. It can be made on a tawa or griddle, as opposed to naan, which is better baked in a hot tandoor or oven only ,to get the desired effect. And as now i have neither, i prefer making Kulcha's only, whenever there's need to cook something special. Also they come out more soft when made by stove top method as compared to baking.


1 heaped tsp. dry yeast
About 200 ml warm water.
2 tsp sugar

For Dough:
500 gm all purpose flour or maida
1/2 cup natural yoghurt or dahi
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tbsp. ghee or vegetable oil
Salt to taste

For Stuffing:
1 sweet onion, minced
few coriander/mint leaves chopped
1/4 tsp chilli pwd.
salt to taste


Place warm water in a bowl and add yeast and sugar over the water. Leave aside for 5-10 minutes, until it becomes frothy (activated).
Now sift flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl.
Make well in the centre. Add curd and oil in the well.
Then make a soft non sticky dough with the yeast water.
Cover and leave aside for 2-4 hours in a warm place, until it doubles in size.
Mix all the ingredients for stuffing.

Punch the dough down, and make tennis size balls out of it.
Heat a griddle or tawa or a frying pan.
Roll the balls out to a circle of approx. 3-4 inches in diameter. Put the stuffing (about 1-2 tbsp) in it, fold and agian roll out into 6-8 inches in diameter and 2-3 mm. thick circle . Don't make it too thick, because it swells up a little when cooking.

Place it on the heated griddle/tawa. When a few bubbles appear, turn it over. cook on both sides,and finally apply butter/ghee on one side, take it off the griddle.
Best serve kulchas immediately or else can also stack them one on top of other and then wrap them in a foil. Just before serving reheat in a grill or oven.
Serve with Chole or any other rich curry, like i served them with Malai Kofta's.


Once the packet of yeast is opened ,it shouldn't be kept for long, unless its in the freezer.
Kulchas can be made in advance and reheated. They can be frozen too. Defrost fully, re-heat and serve.
You can make any type of filling for it , like onion or potatoes or even plain kulcha. I made all the three varities, for the three guys in my house with entirely different taste buds... :)

Sending these Kulche's to RCI: Lucknow started by Lakshmi


Monday, March 23

Celebrating Blog Anniversary with Carrot halwa

Celebrating my 1st Blog anniversary and also the 100th post with our tradional Indian sweet "Gajar ka Halwa". One year back i started this blog; spend hours browsing others blog, commenting on their posts, trying new recipes, enjoying reading comments on my posts..., (took a long break in between too) , getting to know a entire new world alltogether.. Really its a amazing thing to do, blogging..

Actually i did thought to post this about a week ago, BUT.. last week was kids holidays in singapore(term break), and i didn't realised beforehand, that they would keep me so so busy the whole week, day n night... This one week was a whole mess for me... and finally today i relax, when the school reopened, my goodness managing 2 little brats....

Now something about this carrot pudding or carrot halwa,which is the most famous of Indian sweet dishes. It origiantes in the northern parts of India. As kids we always had this made from the RED long variety of carrots, which grows in the cooler climates of India (mostly north) and are available only during the winter months. They are juicier and naturally very sweet so halwa made from them is more carrot and less sugar and tasted real heavenly. If anyone can get red carrots, should definately try making the halwa with them.

But everywhere else we get these orange carrots only,and halwa tastes delicious with them too.


Shredded carrot 2 cups
Milk 2 cups
Sugar 1/4 + cup
Cardamom powder 1/2 teaspoon
Unsalted butter/ghee 2 tablespoons
Cashews, raisins, almonds to garnish


In a thick bottomed open pan, add ghee, and roast the nuts, keep aside.
In the same pan , add the grated carrots and then milk, and bring to a boil. Uncovered, cook for approx. 20 - 25 minutes or until the mixture has thickened and the milk has integrated into the carrots. Stir the mixture frequently to avoid it sticking to the pot.
Or alternatively you can add 2 cups milk, and lastly add 4 tbsp khoya (or ricotta cheese) ; to speed up the process and make it even better.
Then add sugar and stir constantly to dissolve, on a high heat for 3-5 minutes until the carrots glisten and gets a wonderful golden color.
Fianlly add Cardamon powder and the half of the nuts.

Garnish with the other half of nuts on top, and serve warm or cold.

Although it takes a little bit of time to prepare, the steps to make this dessert are simple. And the final dessert is full of wonderful rich carroty and nutty flavor and aroma of cardamom. Also you can make carrot halva in advance and keep in the fridge for about a week.


Grate the carrot with a big(holes one) grater, so the halwa doen't become too mushy at last.
You may add condensed milk/ fresh homemade cream to make it even richer.
It is also served warmed with chilled Vanilla Icecream, and it tastes heavenly..

Sending this to RCI: Lucknow started by Lakshmi


Monday, March 16

Fresh Cucumber Peanut summer salad

This is a wonderful summer salad, and is great for Indian taste buds. The best way to have cucumbers, is to have them in salads(as i feel). For those who like a crunchy salad, this Thai salad, known as Taeng Kwa Brio Wan, is perfect with its combination of cucumbers and peanuts. A lovely combo of flavours and textures. So give these salads a try as you work to improve your diet. I added very small amounts of red bell peppers for a little more color, as we all know when a food looks good we carve more for it.. :)and it makes it even more healthier

I did tried my hand at a simple food carving too, see how the mini cucumber basket with small carrot flowers looks like.. isin't it cute..


1 large cucumber; peeled, seeded and diced
3 tbsp coarsely chopped peanuts(roasted n peel removed)
10-15 Cherry tomatoes halved
1/2 small onion, chopped(optional)
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp red pepper chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp white sugar
1 tbsp minced fresh cilantro
salt to taste


Take a mixing bowl and whisk sugar, lemon juice, olive oil and cumin till the sugar has dissolved in it. Then add cucumbers, peppers,tomatoes, onions and cilantro.
Since i used mini cucumbers hence i just chopped them( didn't peeled n seeded). I usually prefer not to peel its skin, just scrub it nicely.
Combine it all by tossing.
And then it can be kept in fridge to be chilled.
Just before serving add salt to taste and serve it by sprinkling chopped peanuts on top.

I just added cumin, as i like its flavour, likewise you can also add chat masala powder to it.
The original recipe calls for, adding salt at first to cucumber and squeeze the water out of it.


Sending this to AFAM:Cucumber going in my blog, started by Maheshwari of Beyond The Ususal.


Friday, March 13

Red Kidney beans aka Rajma

Rajma chawal, this had been my favourite dish since childhood and i still love it very much. Rajma curry is very famous dish in north india, espicially in Punjabi's. I had one punjabi friend D in college,her mother used to cook yummy rajma. I liked it so much that whenever she brought rajma chawal in her luchbox (yep, we did took lunch boxes,even in engineering college), she just simply used to give the whole box to me(though it had enough for 3 of us) Both D n R used to watch me as i relished the dish and gave them back, if something was still left. Those happy and carefree days...

Ok, now back to these beans, Red Kidney Beans are a rich source of anti-oxidants and contains cholesterol-lowering fiber which prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal, making them a very good food source for diabetics. And one taken with rice it makes a complete meal in itself. :)

I always make so much that it should be enough for 2 meals, somehow next day it always tastes better.


Red Kidney beans 1 cup
Onion 1
Tomato pureed 1
Green chilli 2 3
Ginger an inch
Cumin seeds 1 tsp
Red chilli powder 1 tsp.
Turmeric Powder 1/2 tsp.
Coriander powder 1 tsp.
Garam Masala Powder 1 tsp.
Vegetable oil 3 tbsp.
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves for garnishing


Wash the rajma and soak in water overnight or atleast 5 6 hours with 1 tsp salt in the water.
Pressure cook rajma until tender. Or better you can use canned kidney beans too.
Grind onion, green chilli and ginger to make a fine paste.
Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds and then the paste and fry on medium heat until golden brown (The oil starts separating from the mixture).
Add red chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and salt. Mix well. Fry for 2-3 minutes.
Add pureed tomatoes and cook till done.
Add cooked rajma (along with the water in which it was cooked). Stir well and cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes. Finally add garam masala powder.
Add water enough to make thick gravy. Bring the gravy to boil or pressure cook for 1 whistle.
Garnish with chopped green coriander leaves and serve hot.

Best served with jeera rice .


Can also grind some cooked rajma and add it finally, really gives nice texture.
Can add sugar too, some like it a bit sweeter.

Sending this to Lentil mela at Ashwini's spicy cuisine
along with Green peas usal.
And to MLLA 9th Helping, at Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska by Laurie, started by Susan


Wednesday, March 11

SWC: SOUPS, Roundup

Here comes the roundup of SWC:Soups. First of all, i would like to thank Lakshmi for starting such a healthy event, so as we can be fit..
I was very pleased with the way my inbox kept flooding with entries, with yummy and healthy soups of various cuisines from all over the world. There are a lot of soups which were a complete meal in itself, and some so simple which can be made in a jiffy.. While hosting the event i came across so many new and interesting blogs too. Thanx you all for making the event a success.
I just posted the entries, in the (almost the) same order as i received them.

1. Creamy Vegetable Soup by Radhika of Tickling Palates
2. Carrot cabbage soup by Jayasree of Kailas Kitchen
3.Vegetable Soup by Rachana of Gourmetlaunchpad
4. Baby corn soup by EC of Simple Indian Food
5. French Onion Soup by Madhumathi of Madhus Food Journal
6. Tomato Saar by Ankita of A Veggie's Cookbook

7. Umbrian farro and lentil soup by Letizia Mattiacci of madonnadelpiatto
8. Tomato Garlic Soup by Asha of Aroma Hope
9. Gingery sweet potato soup by Cham of Spice-club
10. Borscht with Kvas by DK of Culinary bazaar
11. HERBED WHITE BEAN SOUP by Rekha of plantainleaf
12. Chick peas and Spinach Soup by NĂºria of Spanish Recipes

13. Butternut Squash Bisque by Joelen of Joelen's Culinary Adventures
14. Green Bean and Tomato Soup by Lakshmi of Cooking station.
15. Tomato Soup by Bhawana Gupta of From my palate
16. Roasted carrot and tomato soup by TBC of The Budding Cook
17. Paya soup by Priayanka of asan khana
18. Beet root Soup by Purva of Purva's Daawat

19.Tomato soup with smoky bell pepper by Vidhas of Appetizing recipes
20. Vegetable Corn flour soup by Vidhas of Appetizing recipes
21. Ginger carrot soup by Sowmya of Creative saga
22. Green Peas Soup by Trupti of Recipe Center
23. Sweet Corn Vegetable Soup by Priyasuresh of Priya's Easy N Tasty Recipes
24. Cauliflower, Broccoli N Pasta Clear soup by Priyasuresh of Priya's Easy N Tasty Recipes

25. Vegan Chilled Avocado Soup by Priyasuresh of Priya's Easy N Tasty Recipes
26. Tocana de Hrisca by Manda of Asparagus Thin
27. Potato and spinach soup by Deepa Hari of Simple Home Cooking
28. Rasam (Tomato tamarind soup) by Deepa Hari of Simple Home Cooking
29. Chunky Veg and Pasta Soup by Deepika of Less Sugar, Please
30. Tomato Red Lentil Soup by Deepika of Less Sugar, Please

31. Garlicky Ashgourd Soup by Deepika of Less Sugar, Please
32. Spinach 'N Apple Soup by Deepika of Less Sugar, Please
33. Chickpea Soup by Deepika of Less Sugar, Please
34 . Pumpkin Soup with Coriander by Deepika of Less Sugar, Please
35. Peas Potato Soup by Hemamalini of Salt To Taste
36. A soup filled with love (Pumpkin Soup) by Aparna Prabhu of Aps Kitchen

37. Easy Tomato Soup by Lakshmi Venkatesh of Kitchen Chronicles
38. Kid friendly Chicken soup by Oriya Food of Home Cooked Oriya Food
39. Tomato Soup by Oriya Food of Home Cooked Oriya Food
40. Spicy Lemony Coriander soup by Oriya Food of Home Cooked Oriya Food
41. Pineapple Hot and sour soup by Sumarajesh of Sumas cuisine
42. Carrot Soup by Prajusha of Icookipost

43. Cajun Style Potato and Kale Soup by Curryleaf of TastyCurryLeaf
44. Minestrone Soup by Maya of KonkanWorld
45. Cold Gazpacho soup by Neha of Tasty Recipes
46. Vegetable soup by Swapna pravin of Cooking with swapna
47. Cauliflower soup by Swapna pravin of Cooking with swapna
48. Caribbean pumpkin soup by Swapna pravin of Cooking with swapna

49. Gingery Sweet Potato soup by Neha of Tasty Recipes
50. Cool cucumber turns hot( Cucumber Soup) by Aparna Prabhu of APS KITCHEN
51. Asian-soup by Annalyn of munchin' in manila
52. Tomato Soup with Fries by Gayathri Hema of Just Urs!!!

Do check out SWC: Meals on wheels, last date 31st march. I tried not to miss any entry, but if i have, please point it out,so i may correct it....

Last but not the least, wishing you all a very very HAPPY HOLI....


Monday, March 9

Gingery Sweet Potato Soup

When i did announced the event SWC:Soups, it was really hot here in Singapore. I didn't felt like having or cooking soups at all. And then i made that chilled refreshing Gazpacho Soup. Usually it rains a lot here in December and January, but as per records, this month January was the driest jan. in a decade. And it followed till almost end of feb. But, thanx god , now its finally raining, raining a lot (nowadays climate has gone so unpredectable), and we felt like having hot soups. So for yesterday dinner i made this along with Instant corn dhokla( recipe coming soon)

Something about Sweet potatoes,they are a great source of beta-carotene, essential for vision. The soup had a strong taste of ginger, and was perfect for a filling dinner in a rainy day.


1 small onion,cut coarsely
2 garlic cloves,chopped
1 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
1 carrot, chopped coarsely
1 stalk of fresh lemongrass, thinly sliced crosswise
100 gms sweet potato, peeled and cut into big chunks
2 cups vegetable broth or 2 vegetable stock cubes.
Salt to taste
1/2 tablespoon chopped cilantro


In a pressure cooker add onion, garlic, ginger, carrot ,lemon grass and sweet potato. Cover and and cook for a whsitle, till the potatoes are tender.
Transfer the sweet potato to a blender. Puree the sweet potato soup.
Return the soup to the saucepan.Add stock cubes and season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
Pour the soup into a bowl, top with the cilantro and serve.

Sending this to SWC:Soups, (started by LG ) Hosted at my blog.


Friday, March 6

Aloo pooha

Aaloo Poha or kanda pohe is i feel the staple breakfast/snack in every North Indian Kitchen. Actually this tangy snack is an all time favorite throughout India with slight variations,though. I also make it every week atleast once. Easy to make, its quite filling too. Must be, as its made with flattened beaten rice.

I sometimes use to make this even before my marriage, but that was under my mom ,so was quite simple. After marriage,when we were in bangalore, when first time i bought poha, it came out to be thin one. Result it all formed one big lump,when i soaked it.(That one is used to make chiwda) Then i bought thick one(asked specially for thick one). It didn't got soaked properly n was all dry. Finally ,asked my sister,What's wrong??? she told me there's comes one more of medium thickness,that we should use. OMG.

Once when we went to indore, i saw this poha everywhere, and it was too spicy there. Hot steaming poha was prepared and kept warm over boiling water so that the hot moisture from the water can keep the poha warm and moist. One nice combo was Poha Jelabi..


2 1/2 Cup Poha(rice flakes) (from Indian groceries)
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 potato, diced
3-4 green chillies, chopped
Handful of frozen green peas (optional)
2 tbsp peanuts
2 tbsp Cilantro, chopped finely
1 lemon/lime

Haldi/turmeric powder 1 tsp
Jeera/cumin 1 tsp
1t mustard seeds
Red chilli powder 1 tsp
Black salt 2 tbsp
Sugar 1tbsp
Garam masala powder 1 tsp
Oil 1 tbsp
Salt to taste


Wash the rice flakes/atukulu in running cold water,in a seive, drain and set aside. These flakes will absorb the water and shall puff up.
Meanwhile, chop onions, green chillies, potato.
Heat oil in a wide pan and firstly add the peanuts. fry them and set aside.
In the same oil add the cumin seeds and curry leaves(optional). Let it fry for a min and a then add onions, diced potato, green peas and green chillies to the pan . Add a bit of salt to enhance cooking.
Let it cook for few mins till the potatoes are done.
Meanwhile, mix all the spices in the soaked poha and mix well with your hands. (so as not to break the flakes)
Finally mix it well in the pan and let it sit on the flame for 3-5 more mins. Add the lime/lemon juice and chopped cilantro and mix well so that the juice is evenly distributed.
Serve hot with any of the below toppings.


I serve it with fried peanuts on top of it.
Also it tastes womderful with Haldiram's bhujia.
In nagpur we had it with some very hot red chutney over it, along with green chillies.
Also its served with chopped onions or grated coconut.

Sending this to Cooking for kids :Potato, authored by Sharmi of Neivedyam as my kids love it too. Along with Yummy Samosa's and Vegetable cutlets.


Wednesday, March 4

Cold Gazpacho Soup

The perfect summer soup for hot days. Often described as a liquid salad, Gazpacho is a cold Spanish tomato-based raw vegetable soup. It descends from ancient Roman concoction based on a combination of stale bread, garlic, olive oil, salt, and vinegar and is widely consumed throughout Spain during the summer months, due to its refreshing qualities. For more info about this soup can check here.

Here’s a version that also uses red bell peppers, cucumber and onion. Its a very simple recipe that just takes a very little time. I made it when it was really hot here, and indeed it was refreshing. Quite different from the usual hot soups, isin't it??


For the soup:

3 fresh ripe tomatoes
1/2 cucumber,deseeded peeled and chopped
1 red onions, peeled and chopped
1/2 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
1 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp olive oil
1 ½ tbsp wine vinegar
1 heaped tsp fresh coriander leaves
1 heaped tsp of spring onions
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup water
Black pepper powder to taste
Salt to taste

For the garnish:

Cucumber, peeled and chopped finely
2 Spring onions, chopped finely


Add the tomotoes,cucumber, onions, garlic and pepper. Season with salt and black pepper powder.
And then add the herbs, oil ,lemon juice and wine vinegar. Blend together till its still coarse(partly puree).
Add a little cold water to thin the soup and pour into the bowl. Cover and chill thoroughly.
Garnish with cucumber pieces and chopped spring onions and serve chilled with hot crusty bread.

PS: I did added only 1tsp extra virgin olive oil, as i felt that would better suit my taste buds.
Insted of water better add tomato juice.

I'm sending this to SWC:Soups, (started by LG )

and to AFAM:Cucumber ,(started by maheswari ) ,which are going in my blog.


Sunday, March 1

Announcing AFAM

This month i got the opportunity of hosting this wonderful event AFAM ,A Fruit A Month, started by Maheshwari of Beyond The Ususal. But when i looked at previous AFAM's ,i saw most of the fruits (known and even unknown to me too...) are already hosted . Then when i browsed , i came to know, that there are a lot of fruits , which are known to us as vegetables, but are actually fruits, like the previous months fruits pumpkin and Jack fruit and also tomato, bittergourd, cucumber, beans, eggplant , peanuts, and even bellpeppers are actually fruits.OMG.

In botany, a fruit is the ripened ovary—together with seeds—of a flowering plant. In simple terms,if u wanna know, what you have is a fruit or vegetable, just check DOES IT HAVE SEEDS? If the answer is yes, then technically, you have a FRUIT. Check the source for more info.

So finally....i decided of this month's fruit for AFAM as 'CUCUMBER'. I like cucumber very much, so i thought its a nice oppurtunity for me to have loads n loads of tried cucumber recipes with me, at my blog itself. So nice isin't it. So please guys, send me loads of them. For more info on cucumbers check wikipedia.

Some guidelines for this event:

1. Prepare any recipe using Cucumber as its main ingredient and post about it on your blog by 2nd, April, 2009

2. Multiple entries are most welcome. You can also send from archieves, provided it should be properly updated and reposted.Posts should be linked back to this event to this announcement post and Maheshwari's blog.

3. Send the following details to neha.agrawal.2610(at)gmail(dot)com with the AFAM: Cucumber as its subject line

Your Name
Blog name
Recipe Name
Recipe URL
A Photo of any size

4. The use of logo is optional, if you use good, if not then also good.:)

5. If you are a non-blogger and you wish to participate, send in the above details with the recipe. I will post them in the round up.

Remember last date of this event is April 2, 2009. Also do check out for the yummy roundup of Jackfruits at LG's blog. So lets cook, and also always, stay cool as a cucumber.

Update: 5th of April. The event is now over , can check the roundup here.

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