Wholewheat Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce

0 Comments 30 Oct 2010 In: veg, wheat

Now im changing everything from white to brown.. Well not everything in my home at least all the flours im using now.  If you see me last few posts all my baking has been done with wholemeal flour. My breads, cookies,  cakes -  everything i changed to wholemeal. I didn’t find much difference with the change of flour and all including the kids loved it!

The Pasta i used here is Barilla Whole Grain Pasta and the sauce is copied from  Smitten Kitchen

I halved the recipe and added wheatgrem and flaxseeds to it still no taste difference!

4 pounds sad, unloved tomatoes (some swear by romas, I’ve had success with all varieties)
1/4 cup olive oil
Small onion
2 to 3 small cloves of garlic
1/2 medium carrot
1/2 stalk of celery
1/2 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
Slivers of fresh basil, to finish

Peel your tomatoes:

Bring a pot of water to boil. Cut a small X at the bottom of each tomato. Blanche the tomatoes in the boiling water for 10 to 30 seconds, then either rinse under cold water or shock in an ice water bath. Peeling the tomatoes should now be a cinch. If one gives you trouble, toss it back in the boiling water for another 10 seconds until the skin loosens up. Discard the skins (or get crafty with them).

Finish preparing your tomatoes:

If using plum tomatoes, halve each lengthwise. If using beefsteak or another round variety, quarter them. Squeeze the seeds out over a strainer over a bowl and reserve the juices. (You can discard the seeds, or get crafty with them.) Either coarsely chop you tomatoes on a cutting board or use a potato masher to do so in your pot, as you cook them in a bit.

Prepare your vegetables:

I finely chop my onion, and mince my carrot, celery and garlic, as does Bastianich. Batali grates his carrots. Burell pulses all four on the food processor to form a paste. All of these methods work.

Cook your sauce:

Heat your olive oil in a large pot over meduim. Cook your onions, carrots, celery and garlic, if you’re using them, until they just start to take on a little color, about 10 minutes. I really like to concentrate their flavor as much as possible. Add your tomatoes and bring to a simmer, lowering the heat to medium-low to keep it at a gentle simmer. If you haven’t chopped them yet, use a potato masher to break them up as you cook them. Simmer your sauce, stirring occasionally. At 30 minutes, you’ll have a fine pot of tomato sauce, but at 45 minutes, you might just find tomato sauce nirvana: more caramelized flavors, more harmonized texture.

If your sauce seems to be getting thicker than you want it to be, add back the reserved tomato juice as need. If your sauce is too lumpy for your taste, use an immersion blender to break it down to your desired texture. (“Blasphemy!” some will say, but they’re not in the kitchen with you. So there.) Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and more to taste. I like somewhere between 1/2 and 1 teaspoon for 4 pounds of tomatoes. Scatter fresh basil over the pot before serving. Taste once more. Swear you’ll never buy jarred sauce again.

More ways to play around:

There are innumerable ways to tweak your tomato sauce. Some like a pinch of red pepper flakes cooked with the carrots/celery/garlic and onion in the beginning. Some add them at the end. Some swear by a glug of red wine added with the tomatoes. Others insist that a tablespoon of tomato paste will give your relatively quick-cooked sauce a longer-cooked flavor. Have fun with it.

To play around as little as possible:

Skip the onion, carrot and celery. Just cook your tomatoes for 30 to 45 minutes and at the end, drizzle in some olive oil or melted butter. If you have time, you can infuse that oil or butter with garlic and basil. Season to taste with salt. Wonder why you ever added so many ingredients to something so obviously perfect without them

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Punjabi Kadi for Indian Cooking Challenge

4 Comments 17 Oct 2010 In: besan, Indian Cooking Challenge, veg, vegs

I have been out of blogging since my little princess arrived.. Srivallis Indian cooking challenge has brought me back again. :) I really had no time to make changes in the recipe or type a bit about it! just followed the recipe as it was given and it came out yummy with white rice!

here is the recipe i followed blindly!

Source: Simran of Bombay Foodie

Ingredients Needed:

For Pakoras:

Besan / Chickpea Flour – 1/2 cup
Onions – 1 medium
Salt to taste
Red Chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
Oil for Deep frying

For Kadi

Curds / Yogurt – 1 cup
Besan/ chickpea flour – 1/3 cup
Water – 3 – 4 cups
Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
Cumin Seeds- 1 tsp
Ajwain/ Carom Seeds- 1 tsp
Methi / Fenugreek seeds- 1 tsp
Onion -1 large
Turmeric powder a pinch
Salt to taste
Red Chili powder – 1/2 tsp

Garam masala – 1/2 tsp
Amchur/ Dried Mango powder – 1 tsp

Method to prepare:

For the Pakoras

Slice onions length wise. In a bowl, take the chickpea flour, add salt, red chili powder. Make a batter with water to get a semi thick consistency.

Heat a pan/ kadai with oil. When it is hot, dip onions in the batter and gently drop into the hot oil. Deep fry until crispy.

Drain and keep aside.

For the kadhi

Make a paste with yogurt and besan, then mix with water to make a very thin batter.

Heat a tbsp of oil. Add a tsp each of mustard seeds, cumin seeds, carom seeds and methi. Let splutter for a few seconds.

Add onion slices, fry till they turn light brown.

Pour in the yogurt/besan batter, add turmeric powder, salt and red chilli powder.

Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and let simmer for at least half an hour.

Keep stirring occasionally.

When you feel it is pretty thick, add the reserved pakoras, bring to boil. Add garam masala and Amchur powder to the gravy just before removing from stove.

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rice and vegs

Don’t you think sometimes you need a full vegetarian meal? And that too with almost all all all the veggies in it?? LOL!! I felt like that few months back! Yes this is from a draft long long back. I still remember i was craving for all the veggie curries I’m not good at cooking kerala veggies. I opened my cook book after a long time and started searching for these recipes. I hardly take a look at the books now becase i find everything in GOOGLE now! LOL! but i think if u need anything authentic tried and tested and tasted you have to open those books which you have treasured or passed from ur mom or aunt or grandmaa… the list goes on! So here goes the recipes.

rice and vegs1

Avial is a vegetables with coconut and yogurt. I add all my favorite vegetables to it like potatoes, raw bananas, carrots, yam… yumm yumm!!

Carrot – 1 medium size
Potato – 1 medium size
Elephant Yam -1 cup
Raw Bananas – 1 large
long Beans- 1 cup

  • All veggies cut in 2 inch long pieces.

Coconut-1 cup
Green chillies-2 nos
Cumin seeds-1 tsp

  • Grind into a fine paste

Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
Curry leaves 1-2 springs
Coconut oil for tadka
Sour curds-1 cup
Salt to taste

  • Cook the vegetables in a skillet with little water.
  • Add turmeric and salt to it.
  • When the veggies are soft add the coconut mixture to it.
  • After a boil add the beaten curd to it and turn off the stove.
  • Heat coconut oil in a separate tadka pan and add mustard seeds and curry leaves to it.
  • Serve with rice :)

Olan is beans mixed with winter melons in coconut milk. I love beans and winter melons but not really a fan of coconut milk. I had to buy it because this recipe is incomplete without it!

Small red beans – 1 cup soaked overnight
Winter melon -1 cup

  • Pressure cook the beans till its half done and then add the melon and salt and cook again till soft.

Coconut milk- to taste around 1/2 cup.
Curry leaves 1 spring
Coconut Oil for tadka

  • Add coconut milk to the cooked beans and melon and let it boil for few minutes.
  • In a tadka pan add coconut oil and mustard and curry leaves and add the the beans.

Spinach is the only veggie my kids will eat everyday! So i try ot make it often and in the simplest way! I make Cabbage also in the same way.

Heat coconut oil in a skillet. Add mustard seeds. When they splutter add chopped spinach/cabbage to it. Add salt to taste and mix well. Wait till the veggies are done. Usually these veggies are cooked within 5 minutes if u chop them finely.

Okra Curry is one of the easiest curry for me.. why?? because one can cut the okras into half and and still it will be soft after a boil! Also i roast gring a large packet of coconut and freeze it so its easy for me to add the coconut also. Please note that the roasted-grinded coconut doesnt not really freeze and become hard in the freezer. It will be still like a powder if you dry grind them.

10-12 okras cut in to any size
1 small onion chopped finely
1 small tomato optional
a lemon size tamarine ball soaked in 1 cup of water
2-3 tsps of coriander pwdr
1 tsp of red chilli pwdr
coconut oil for frying onions
salt to taste

coconut 1/2 cup
cumin seeds 1/2 tsp
fennel seeds 1/2 tsp
curry leaves 1 sppring
turmeric pwdr 1/4 tsp
shallot 1-2

  • roast all till dark brown and dry grind.

In a skillet add coconut oil and fry onions. If you are using tomatoes add them after the onions turn brown. Add chopped okras and fry then for 2-3 mts. Add the tamarine water and spices to it.  Cover and cook till the okras are soft. Add the grinded coconut to it and adjust the spices if u need more. And bring to a boil. Turn off immidietly after boiling.

  • You don’t have to add all the coconut to it. Adjust according to how thick you want the curry. Freeze the un used coconut if any.

Enjoy the kerala meal with kuruva rice! :)

Im overjoyed to receive this award from Malar Gandhi.


And im passing this to Srivalli, Faiza Ali, Pajusha, Yasmeen, Lubna, Lissie.

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Kalan – Raw bananas in coconut and yogurt gravy

2 Comments 10 Dec 2009 In: coconut, curry, raw banana, veg, yogurt


This has been in my draft for a long time.. When both my laptops crashed i finally learned the lesson not to treasure my pics in “My Pictures ” but i have to publish them here! LOL! I finally returned to my old desk top but i have lost the mobility! now i have to come to the computer room when im making something new or i’ll have to print out the recipe. Well but im happy that my desktop never lets me down but i did promise myself to publish the recipes as soon as i  cook or bake them!

One of the easiest curry i make when i wake up late or not in the mood for cooking. Thank god my kids love this!

1 Raw banana

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

1/4  fenugreek powder

3/4 – 1 cup grated coconut

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1 green chilli

3-4 tbsp yoghurt

salt to taste

For Tadka/tempering oil, mustard seeds, red chilli, curry leaves

Remove banana skin and  wash and slice them into thick pieces. Put them in a vessel and add turmeric  and fenugreek powder and salt.  In a medium sized skillet add 2 cups of water and bananas, cover and cook till done.    Meanwhile, grind grated coconut, cumin seeds and  green chillies to a fine paste.  Add this paste to the cooked bananas and mix well.  Beat yoghurt and pour over it.  Keep on stirring the curry and cook on a low flame till it starts to boil.  Turn off the flame.  In a tadka pan, heat oil and add mustard seeds, red chillies and curry leaves.  Turn off the flame immediately and pour it over the curry.  Mix well and serve hot with rice

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green salad

A lazy lazy day and your groceries are almost empty! So what do you feed your family? Well my first choice will be Salads!!! Mix everything you have a there you go.. a very healthy nourishing salad.  :)

All you have to do is mix lettuce, pumpkin seeds, cherry tomatoes, olives, avocados, zucchini  mushrooms, chickpeas, drizzle olive oil on top and serve!

I dont add salt in any of my salads you may add if you like.

This Salad goes to Light Meal event and Healthy snacking event

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Beans Stir fry

0 Comments 16 Oct 2009 In: beans, vegs

beans stirfryMy kids love this with rice and yogurt. This is another easy breezy lunch i make when i dont have time!

Beans – 250 grms cut into small pieces

jeera/cumin – 1/4 tsp

turmeric – 1/4 tsp

chilli pwdr – 1/4 tsp

curry leaves – 1 spring

salt to taste

Exra virgin olive oil 1 tbsp

In a heaqvy bottom vessel heat olive oil and add cumin. Once it splutters add the dry powders and stir for 2 seconds.. Be careful not to burn the powders. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir for few more mts. If you want to cook the beans close the lid and let it cook for 3-5 mts. Or else keep on stirring for 3-4 mts. Serve with rice or rotis.

im Sending my recipe for Light Meal Event

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Bonda a.k.a Potato Vada

3 Comments 28 Aug 2009 In: Iftaar, Malabar, snack, snacks, veg


Ramadan Day 5

I’m smiling as i type this because i was nicked as ‘Bonda’ during my childhood days! I used to be angry when my cousins call me that but now when i think back i cant help laughing because i really was fat and round! the gol gol type :D LOL! and i loved potatoes and i still do.

Potato is the Raja (king)of all veggies. I havent come across someone who doesn’t like potatoes. Fry ir or bake it or steam it of add to your stew it tastes so good.

Here is my simple recipe for bonda:

For the potato mixture–

1/2 tsp mustard and cumin seeds

3-4 tbsps of oil

4 large potatoes boiled and mashed

1 tsp ginger garlic paste

3 green chillies finely chopped

salt to taste

a handful of corriander leaves chopped finely.

Heat oil in a kadai and add the mustard and cumin seeds and let it splutter. Add onions and fry till onions are light brown. Add ginger-garlic paste to it and fry for 2-3 mts. Add green chillies and salt and  mix well. Add the mashed potatoes mix well and then chopped corriander leaves at the end and set aside till it cools. Make lemon size balls after cooling.

For the batter–

1 cup plain flour

1 tsp ajwain

salt to taste

water to mix the batter

Mix everything to form a thick batter.

**The batter should not be watery otherwise i wont stick to the bondas. In my picture my batter was a bit of watery so it did not stick to the batter.

*** Variations of the batter

> 1/2 cup plain flour and rice flour (According to me this one is the best)

> 1 cup rice flour

> 1 cup besan flour

Dip the potato balls in the batter and deep fry.

My bondas go for the Ramadan Event hosted by Lubna

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This is one of the very very famous dishes in kerala. and one of the most popular break fast item too. im blogging this for Srivalli’s Rice Mela she really gives a reason to cook and blog! You rock girl!!! :)

Puttu is made of parboiled rice flour. It is first washed and dried and then grinded to make flour. Well actually thats the procedure in kerala.. but since im in Singapore i go for the ready madeputtu flour which is much more easier!! LOL!

Brown channa curry or chicken curry or stews goes well with puttu. today morning i made brown channa curry to go with it.

For the puttu you’ll need

3 cups rice flour
1 cup water
1-2 cups of scraped coconut
salt to taste

Take the flour in a large bowl and add salt to it. Add the water slowly to it to make the puttudough. The puttu dough is very loose and should not be any lumps in it. If u find any lumps break it and keep on mixing it.

  • If you are using roasted flour you might need more water. so add water accordingly.

Now boil water in the puttu kutti (puttu maker). u can see that there are 2 parts of the puttukutti. Boil water in the below one.

Mean while in the kutti (the upper part of the puttu maker) Add 1 tbsp of coconut. On top of that add 3 tbsp of flour. Again coconut and flour. repeat this till the kutti is full.

But be sure that the top and bottom of the puttu kutti should be filled with coconut layer. Now fix the kutti on top of the puttu maker. And boil it till the steam comes out from the top.

Puttu can also be eaten with bananas and sugar… :)

Now here goes the brown channa curry or kadala curry

1 medium sized onion thinly sliced
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
2 cups brown channa
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1 medium sized tomato cut into small pieces
1 1/2 tbsp coriander pwdr
1/2 tbsp red chilli pwdr (if u want to make it more spicy u can add more.)
1/4 tbsp haldi pwdr
1 spring curry leaves
salt to taste
oil for sauting
4 cups of water

heat oil in a pressure cooker. Add mustard seeds to it. when they splutter add onions and curry leaves to it. When the onions are brownish add ginger garlic paste to it and saute for another 1 mt. After that add tomatoes to it. When the tomatoes are soft add the masalas to it. Once oilseparates form the mixture add the brown channa and water to it and presurre cook for 20-25mts.

And now its ready to serve with puttu!

This entry also goes to WYF:Breakfast Event


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Chicken and vegetable soup for the soul!

1 Comment 30 Jun 2009 In: Carrot, celery, chicken, potato, Soups, veg

chicken and veg soup

“Soup is a food that is made by combining ingredients such as meat and vegetables in stock or hot/boiling water, until the flavor is extracted, forming a broth”.  source Wikipedia

When im lazy to cook or eat something solid food soups come to the rescue! One of the soups which i make during dinner time is this one.

It is easy to prepare and and very healthy as it as chicken breast, carrots, celery, potatoes, spinach and a lot of spices to spice it up!

So for this soup you will need

200-300 grams of chicken breast

1 medium size potato

1/2 of a spinach bunch

1 small carrot

1 celery stalk

Cut everything in to small pieces and boil together for 2 hours. Blend it with a hand blender into a fine paste or as per you like. Garnish with black pepper, marjoram,basil,oregano,crushed red pepper and salt!

soup spices

This soup is really filling and you can also change the choice of veggies, u can add corn, green peas, tomatoes, or any other veggie.

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Lobia curry/ Black eye beans curry

2 Comments 23 Dec 2008 In: beans, veg

Lobia is one of my favorite among beans. today i was thinking to make Lobia parata but somehow i wasn’t in a mood.. And while browsing through some of my favorite blogs i found this recipe in Shaheens Malabar Spices. it turned out so yummy even my kids loved it!

thanks Shaheen for sharing such a wonderful recipe :)

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