Garlic Bread- The most Luring Bread Variety

Garlic bread is a great appetizer. This a very easy and simple way to make your own.

Pasta in chilli Sauce

Pasta has become a weekly dinner for us. This is yet another very easy and quick to make Pasta recipe.

Coconut Cookies

A Yummy delight. Easy, simple and delicious cookies make at home within minutes.

Capsicum Rice - Must try!

Capsicum + Rice = Delicious! , A must try vegetarian healthy recipe.

Healthy Spinach Rolls

Easy and healthy snack ,the kids will love.

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5.30.2008

Rava Kesari / Sooji Halwa - An authentic South Indian Dessert/sweet

I was watching TV yesterday around 4PM and was feeling very hungry. Thought of making some sweet as one of my friends asked me to post more sweet recipes. Thought of doing carrot halwa, but did not have carrots! The next easy sweet as far as I know is Rava Kesari. This is a recipe mostly done in festivals and also in marriages.
For breakfast in most of the south Indian marriages will be Rava kesari, bajji or bonda with coconut chutney and also pongal. Yummy! the thought itself makes me hungry and drool. Indian Food rocks! Rava Kesari also called sooji halwa, is very easy to prepare. All you need is rava (sooji)!



Ingredients

1 cup Sooji (rava)
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup of water
1/4 cup of nuts (Cashew, almonds)and raisins
1/4 cup of ghee or butter
A pinch of salt


Method:

In a pan, add butter. Whe it is melted add the nuts and raisins and saute them.

Add the sooji(Rava) and saute for few min.

When you get the smell of Sooji geting roasted in ghee (wow! it really is a pleasant smell), you add sugar and mix well.

Now add water and cook it in medium flame. stir occasionally. Add a pinch of salt to enhance the flavour.

After 2 min, check if the sooji is cooked and serve hot!



One more award: Today I got Nice matters award for my blog from Divya of Divya's cookbook. Thanks Divya. It does make me feel good and more committed to my blog when I get these awards. Thanks again...you made my day! I pass it to

JZ of Tasty Treats
Rachel of Tangerine's Kitchen
Shilpa of Aayi's Recipe
Ranji of Ranji's Kitchen Treats

Enjoy and have a great weekend!

5.29.2008

Chickpeas Sundal - A healthy snack


You can make sundal in many different forms. You can use any type of bean to make sundal. However, the first thing that strikes our mind when we hear sundal is chickpea sundal. It is called Konda kadalai sundal in Tamil. This is a famous recipe which is done during the Vinyagar chaturthi festival. Chickpea sundal along with Kozhukattai is the combo for this festival. It is believed that Lord Ganesha loves these recipes. Who will not love? leave alone the belief, every kid loves sundal and kozhukati for its taste. Not only taste this chickpea sundal is high in protein which is undoubtedly healthy.

Ingredients:

1 cup chickpea soaked in water for 4 to 5 hrs
1/2 cup onion finely chopped
2 green chillies
1tsp urad dal
1tsp channa dal
salt to taste
1tsp mustard seeds
a pinch of hing
1/4 cup shredded coconut (you can use both freshly shredded or the frozen one)
1 strand of curry leaves

Method:

Pressure cook the soaked chickpea with required salt for 3 hisses.

In a pan, add oil, mustard seeds and when the seeds pops, add hing.

Add the urad and channa dal and saute. Now add the onions and fry then till they are light brown.

Add the green chillies, curry leaves and little salt. Now add the cooked chickpea and mix them well.

Now add the shredded coconut and mix well. Serve hot!

This is a very easy snack and no wonder Lord Ganesha loves this recipe.
Note: You can make this chickpea sundal without onions and coconuts too.

5.28.2008

Onion Roti recipe


I was thinking of what to cook for lunch yesterday. Roti again? I was wondering how I can prepare roti differently. Then remembered 'Roti mela'. Wow! how many varieties of roti till now...amazing..thanks Srivalli for conducting such a useful and fun event. So here is my onion roti. A simple variation from the normal roti preparation. I found it very tasty and this goes to Srivalli's Roti Mela.

Ingredients:
1 cup wheat flour
water to prepare dough
salt to taste
1 onion finely chopped
1/4 cup of cilantro finely chopped
2 green chillies finely chopped
A pinch of hing
2 flakes of garlic finely chopped
1-2tsp oil

Method:

In a bowl, mix all the ingredients. Add water little by little and knead the dough.

This is same as that of a normal roti preparation.

Now, as usual take a small round ball of dough, roll it to whatever shape you want and cook it on both sides with the help of Tawa/griddle.

Serve hot with side dish of your kind.

5.27.2008

Cassava balls - An African recipe high in carbohydrates


When I was searching for a recipe from Cynthya's blog, to tell you the truth I had so many options, so many varieties. But I chose Cassava balls recipe. This name Cassava, was very different and I was not familiar with it. As usual Wikipedia came to rescue and here are the details of what cassava is.

Cassava is also known as manioc, manihot, yucca, mandioca, sweet potato tree, and tapioca plant. It is an important food crop in the tropics where it is grown for its starchy, tuberous roots. It is a great source of carbohydrate and mainly grown in Africa.

This African recipe, is very tasty and easy to prepare. I tried the same way Cynthya instructed and it came out very well. I will share you the recipe given to me by Cynthya and here is the link to the original post of cassava balls from Cynthya's blog.

The recipe given below is Cynthya's and I did not do any modification to it. It needed nothing more. The Cassava balls were scrumptious.

Yield: 7 – 8 balls

Ingredients

For batter
1/3 cup all purpose flour
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
⅛ teaspoon salt
Water

For cassava ball
1 pound peeled cassava, quartered
Water to boil cassava
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
¼ cup diced onions
½ teaspoon minced thyme
Hot pepper to taste, finely minced
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon salted butter, room temperature
Oil for deep frying
Equipment
1 whisk
1 small bowl
1 saucepan
1 colander
1 large bowl
1 potato masher
1 pan for deep frying
1 slotted spoon
Paper towels

Method

For batter
Mix all the ingredients together using a whisk or your hand, adding enough water to make a thin batter (the consistency of crepe batter)
Set aside

For cassava ball
Add cassava to pot with water and salt to taste and bring to a boil covered
Boil cassava until it’s soft and begins to fall apart by splitting open
Meanwhile, heat the 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan
Add onions and thyme and sauté gently until translucent; season with salt
Stir in hot pepper and let cook for a minute
Remove pan from heat and immediately stir in sliced green onions
Strain boiled cassava using a colander; do not wash off the starch
Discard the stems found in the middle of the cassava
Add the hot, cooked cassava to a bowl along with the butter and mash until it becomes creamy (this requires some elbow-grease as the mashed cassava thickens)
Once the cassava is creamy, scrape off the bits from the masher and set the masher aside
Add the sautéed onion mixture to the mashed-creamed cassava and with clean hands gently combine the two; taste for salt and adjust if necessary
Divide the cassava mixture evenly and roll into balls; set aside
Heat oil for deep frying in pan
Bathe the cassava balls one at a time and fry (coat completely); depending on the width of your pan, you can fry 3 – 4 cassava balls at a time; be careful that they do not stick to each other
Fry until golden brown all over and drain on paper towels
Serve warm or at room temperature. Can be eaten as is or with your favourite sour or pickle





I am sending this to Zlamushka's Tried and Tasted in which she has chosen Cynthya's blog this month.

5.26.2008

Jeera Rice/Pulao - A simple way to cook rice

Hope you all had a great weekend. Mine went with sleeping and shopping. You know what? Now a days I am starting to feel guilty if I dint post at least 1 recipe a day. I hope everyone is feeling the same. Yesterday I couldn't post and I felt as though I did something wrong :) Anyways today I have come up with the simplest yet a scrumptious recipe made with rice. Yes you got it right- Jeera rice. whenever I feel lazy or had to cook something very fast I go with this jeera rice recipe.

Ingredients:

1 cup basmathi rice (Soaked for 30 to 45 mts)
1 tbsp butter or oil
1/4 bunch coriander leaves
1/2 cup onion
2 number gr chilli
1 tsp jeera (cumin)
1/4 bunch mint (optional)
1 pinch saffron color
1 to taste salt
2 cup water
few cashews

Method:

Heat the oil/ghee in a pan. Add cumin seeds, green chillies, cashews. Fry ill the cashews turn light brown.

Add onions and saute till they are light brown.

Now add coriander leaves and mint leaves. Add water and let it come to a boil.

Now add the soaked rice and saffron colour and salt. Mix well and let it cook in Sim flame.

since the rice is already soaked it will take only 10-15mts to prepare this recipe.

Serve hot with your favourite
side dish.

Note: You can also do this jeera rice recipe the same way in a rice cooker.

5.24.2008

Salatat Bathinjan - A Middle eastern Food made from Eggplant

Eggplant, often called "the poor man's meat". Most of my friends like eggplant. The name eggplant developed in the United States , Australia , New Zealand , and Canada because the fruits of some 18th century European cultivars were yellow or white and resembled goose or hen's eggs. So now we know why brinjal is called Eggplant. When I was searching for preparing something in Eggplant for fortune cooking event, I came across this wonderful recipe. This happens to be a recipe from Middle east. Yey! That is a jackpot now I can send this to Siri's AWED: Middle Eastern cuisine event too. This recipe is called Salatat Bathinjan, a famous appetizer from eggplant.

Ingredients:
Large Eggplant 2 - cut into thick slices
2-3 flakes of Garlic
Salt to taste
Oil to fry
1tsp of pepper
1tsp of lime juice

Method:
Sprinkle the eggplant slices with salt. Place in a strainer or colander, top with a weight, and allow to drain for 40- 45 minutes. This is done so that the moisture in the eggplant is removed. The Salt helps to achieve this.

Now place these slices in a towel/tissue and remove the water.

Heat the oil in a frying pan, then add the eggplant slices and fry on both sides until they are golden brown.

Mash the garlic cloves with salt. Add to the diced eggplant along with the pepper powder and lemon juice.

Serve hot!


This recipe is really very crispy and very easy to prepare too. I am sending this to Siri's AWED:Middle Eastern Cuisine and here is the link to Dhivya's Blog. Also I am sending this to fortune cooking contest of Spicy Tasty.

And now for my second Award. I was really taken by surprise when Roopa of RV Kitchen Treatsgave me the 'Yummy Blog Award'. I was so happy. Thanks roopa. It is very encouraging to get these new awards. Make me feel more committed to my blog.



I am passing this to

Asha of Aromahope
Bhags of Crazy Curry
Rinku of Cooking with Rinku
Gaurav of Gastronome by choice
Sagari of Indian cooking

Enjoy friends!

And as per the tradition my favorite desserts are
1. Carrot halwa
2. Kaju Katli
3.Gulob Jamun
4.Rasamalai

Once again Thanks Roopa.

5.23.2008

Dhokla - A Famous Gujarati Fast Food

I don't know, but for some reason I have been doing Gujarati food for the past two days. Yesterday I made Kachori and today Dhokla. Both are my favourites. Both are easy to make and very delicious. Dhokla, a famous Gujarati fast food, is my husband's favourite. This food can be eating as snack or even for dinner. It does fill your tummy! Dhokla is a steamed food and you can make it either in Suji or with besan or with channa dal. Though the authentic Gujarati recipe for Dhokla involves fermentation and channa dal, I tried the suji version yesterday and will share the recipe with you all. I will try to post the channa dal version of Dhokla soon.

Ingredients:

1 cup suji/Rava/Semolina
2 Green chillies finely chopped
1/4 cup cilantro finely chopped

Salt to taste
1 cup plain yogurt
A pinch of eno salt

For Garnishing:
1 tsp oil
1tsp mustard seeds

1 green chilli
1tsp urad dal
1tsp channa dal

A few chopped cilantro

Method:

In a bowl, Mix suji, salt,yogurt,eno salt,green chillies,cilantro and mix well. Add little water and make the batter to the idly batter consistency. Rest the batter for 30 mts.

Now using a cake pan or thali, steam this mixture for
about 10 to15mts. Check regularly to confirm that the inside of this dhokla is cooked properly as you check when you bake a cake.

Note: You need to grease the cake pan or thali with some oil so that the dhokla comes out without sticking.

Let the dhokla cool for some time. After it is cooled, remove the dhokla from the vessel and place it in a plate.


In a pan, add oil, mustard seeds. When the seeds pops, add urad dal,channa dal, cilantro and green chillies.

Add this mixture on the steamed dhokla and cut them into desired shape and serve hot with Mint Chutney!



NOTE:
You can also use idly steamer to cook this dhokla. Instead of the Idly plates use a flat bottom vessel and place it 10-12cms
above the water level.

I am sending this to the SWC- Gujarati Cuisine event. This month it is hosted by Priyanka of Asankhana.

5.22.2008

Mint Chutney


Chutneys are a very basic side dish for many of our Indian snacks, tiffen. Vegetarian or Non-vegetarian, chutneys do with them well. Here I have a recipe of Mint chutney. Personally, I love Mint a lot and they do have medicinal value.

Ingredients:
1 cup of mint leaves washed
1/4 cup of onions
3 flakes of garlic
1-2 Red chilli whole
1tsp cumin seeds
1tsp mustard seeds
A pinch of Hing
1tsp urad dal
1tsp channa dal
Salt to taste
1tsp of oil

Method:

In a Pan, add oil and then cumin seeds. After few seconds. Add onion and saute them.
Add red chillies,garlic and fry then for 1 minute. Now add the mint leaves and fry them.
Let it cool. Add to the blender this mixture, salt and blend it by adding little water.
In a pan, add oil and mustard seeds. When the seeds pops, add hing powder , urad dal,channa dal and fry for few seconds.
Add this to the blended mixture and serve hot.

Kachori - An authentic Gujarati Appetizer/Snack


Kachori, an authentic Gujarati recipe, is a very famous snack in Northern India. I have had kachori many times in my friends place and every time this food tastes awesome. It is very easy to make and very creative too. It is basically a stuffed snack. So you can show your creativity in the stuffing (as usual). You can make Kachori in many different ways and one of them is what I'll be sharing. Now for the recipe.

Ingredients:

For the dough
1 cup of All purpose flour (maida)
1 tbspn of suji/Rava - Mix this suji with warm water
1 tbspn of ghee/oil/vanaspati
Salt to taste

For the stuffing
Beans - any kind I used Rajma, you can use any beans.
A pinch of turmeric powder
1 tsp of cumin seeds
Salt to taste
2 tsp of sugar
1 tsp of coriander powder
2 green chillies
1/4 cup cilantro

Method:
Mix suji with warm water. Prepare a soft dough (more like poori dough) by mixing maida, salt, ghee and suiji water. Rest it for 15 -20 mts.

For the stuffing, boil the beans and grind it along with green chillies and cilantro to a coarse mixture.

In a pan, add 1 tsp of oil, cumin seeds. Add turmeric powder and ginger garlic paste.

Now add the blended mixture and saute them in a medium or Sim flame till all the moisture is evaporated. This will take around 5 to 10 min.

Add coriander powder, salt and sugar and mix well. This addition sugar gives instantly the Gujarati flavour.

Now, take a lemon size ball from the dough. make it flat in your palm and press the edges so that it becomes like a cup so that you can place the filling inside it.
Carefully close the cup and squeeze the leftover dough (similar to kozhukati) and make it to a round ball.

Deep fry it in oil and serve hot with Mint chutney or chutney of your choice.
You can even stuff it with sweet (poornam) and enjoy!


I am sending this to the SWC- Gujarati Cuisine event. This month it is hosted by Priyanka of Asankhana

My very first Award

Today I am very happy. When I opened my blog, I got a surprise from JZ of Tasty Treats. She said I made her day and passed me 'You make my day' award. To be very honest JZ made my day. It is so very kind of you to pass this award to me. This is my first award and I will cherish it as it is my Oscars. I am very excited and so very thankful to JZ.

I am passing this to

ofcourse Uma of
Essense of Andra. Whenever anyone thinks of passing an award I am sure that Uma will be on that list. She is such a lovely friend, she makes sure that she gives lovely comments in my blog regularly. She is one of my inspiration.:)

Dhivya Vikram of
Dil Se. She is one other loving person who is very creative and encouraging.

Madhuram of
Eggless cooking. I came to know from her recipes that without egg you can rock in cooking. You go girl!

Cham of
Spice-club She is one other great cook sharing different recipes with all of us.

If I can pass this award back to JZ, I would surely do that because she did make my day ;) Thanks once again JZ.

5.21.2008

Watermelon Milkshake

Watermelon - Whenever I think of watermelon, I remember the roadside shop selling them near my house during Summer (Of course in India!). Every day when we come back from school we used to get 1 watermelon piece and eat them all the way home. Huh...lovely days! Sweet memories! Watermelon, consumed in any form is tasty and healthy. We have watermelons with seeds and seedless. Undoubtedly I love the seedless. You know, seedless is less work.




Few Facts about watermelon from Wikipedia:

A one-cup serving of watermelon will provide around 48 Calories. Watermelon is an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin A, with one serving containing 14.59 mg of vitamin C and 556.32 IU of vitamin A. Watermelon also provides significant amounts of vitamin B6 and vitamin B1, as well as the minerals potassium and magnesium. Pink watermelon is also a source of the potent carotenoid antioxidant, lycopene. The amino acid citrulline was first extracted from watermelon and analysed. Watermelons contain a significant amount of citrulline and after consumption of several kg an elevated concentration is measured in the blood plasma, this could be mistaken for citrullinaemia or other urea cycle disorder.

wow! a lot of technical terms. Let me put it more simple.


Nutritional value of Watermelon per 100g :

Energy 30 kcal 130 kJ
Carbohydrates 7.55 g
Sugars 6.2 g
Dietary fiber 0.4 g
Fat 0.15 g
Protein 0.61 g
Water 91.45 g
Thiamin (Vit. B1) 0.033 mg 3%
Riboflavin (Vit. B2) 0.021 mg 1%
Niacin (Vit. B3) 0.178 mg 1%
Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.221 mg 4%
Vitamin B6 0.045 mg 3%
Folate (Vit. B9) 3 μg 1%
Vitamin C 8.1 mg 14%
Calcium 7 mg 1%
Iron 0.24 mg 2%
Magnesium 10 mg 3%
Phosphorus 11 mg 2%
Potassium 112 mg 2%
Zinc 0.10 mg 1%

Now coming to our milkshake. If you ask me to choose between milkshake and fruit juice, I will choose milkshake. But if it is with milkshake and ice cream, then the winner is ice cream. OK! Enough of my milkshake and ice cream story. Now for the preparation of watermelon milkshake.

Ingredients:

1 Watermelon (refrigerated for 2 hrs)
2 cups of sugar
1 1/2 cup of cold milk
A pinch of salt

Method:

Cut the watermelon into small pieces. Add them to the blender. Blend it for a minute taking the smoothie option in your blender.

Now add the milk and sugar. Again blend it for 2 minutes in smoothie option. The more you blend the more creamy the milkshake will be.

Finally add a pinch of salt and serve cold!

5.20.2008

Pasta - An Italian Food Made Indian


Pasta is an Italian food made from a dough using flour, water and/or eggs. Pasta was and is the most commonly used food in many of the American homes. Why Americans, even Asians love pasta. Pasta is one of the simplest yet scrumptious food given to the world by Italians. There are nearly 350 different shapes of pasta and you can prepare them in any way you want. To know more about different pasta shapes visit Pasta and its shapes. Pasta is a delicious food by itself, and just by adding few more ingredients increases the richness of this food. To get the answers for many pasta related questions like, how to store pasta?, how to cook pasta perfectly? etc. visit the National Pasta Association.

Now for the Pasta made in an Indian way. Yesterday, I was lazy to prepare dinner. I wanted to complete my dinner preparation within 15mts. With any other food, it would have taken minimum of 30mts. So I decided Pasta is my best choice. But, I did not have any sauce or any other vegetable in my fridge to go with my pasta. My favourite Onions and tomatoes came to my rescue. This Pasta with tomato and onions is the most simplest way of preparing this food.


Ingredients:
1 medium size onion finely chopped
1 large tomato finely chopped
4 flakes of garlic finely chopped
1tsp of coriander powder
1tsp of cumin powder
1tsp of mustard
1tsp of cumin seeds
Salt to taste
1tsp of pepper powder
2tsp of chilli powder
1tsp of oil

Method:
Cook the pasta as directed by the manufacturer.
In a pan, add oil, mustard seeds, cumin seeds. When the seeds pops, add onion and saute them. When the onion turns light brown add the tomatoes, garlic and fry for 2 min.
Add the cumin powder,coriander powder, chilli powder, salt and mix well. Add 1 cup of water and cook this mixture in a Sim flame for 10 minutes. Finally add pepper powder and mix.
If the mixture becomes dry add some water to it and cook.
Now in a bowl, mix the cooked pasta and this tomato mixture. Serve hot.

This is mostly like Tomato rice recipe. Instead of Rice we add Pasta. How much more can you ask from food? So easy huh?

5.19.2008

Samosa - The famous Asian Appetizer

Whenever I think of tea time, the first thing that comes to my mind is of course tea. But, the next is my favourite samosa. Samosa is a famous Indian appetizer which is believed to have originated from central Asia. Samosa is generally a fried triangular shell with potato stuffing. It is a very easy yet delicious snack. You can make it in different shapes and size. It gives room for your creativity too. You can use any kind of stuffing for your samosa.

Samosa

Ingredients:

For the shell:

All purpose flour (Maida) - 1 cup
Carom seeds (Ajwain) - 1tsp
2tsp of oil
water to prepare the dough
salt for taste

For Stuffing:

2 potatoes (boiled and pealed)
1/4 cup peas
1/4 cup of carrot and beans
1/4 cup of onions finely chopped
1/4 cup of coriander leaves finely chopped
1/4 cup of fried cashews (optional)
1 tsp of chilli powder
1tsp of coriander powder
1tsp of cumin powder
1tsp of cumin seeds
1tsp chat masala powder
1-2 green chillies finely chopped
a pinch of hing powder
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1tsp lemon juice

Method:

In a bowl, add the flour, salt,ajwain and oil. Mix well. Add enough water to make it to a stiff dough. Rest it for 15-20 mts.

In a pan, add oil, cumin seeds, hing. After few seconds, add onion and saute them till they become light brown. Now add the ginger garlic paste and saute.

Add the chilli powder,cumin powder, coriander powder , salt and chat masala with little water so that the spices are not burnt and mix well. Now add the cashews.

Add peas, carrot &beans,potato and mix them well. Add the coriander leaves and mix. Finally add the lemon juice and mix well.

How to make samosa:

It is very simple. Just follow these steps.


1. Take a lemon size ball of dough.


2.Roll it into a circle with the help of roller.


3.Now make it to oval shape by rolling only one side of the dough.


4.Cut it in the middle.


5. Take 1 cut piece and apply water in all the sides so that it sticks properly to form the triangular shell.


6.with the curved edge facing you, fold the semicircle so that you overlap the dough in your left hand with the dough in your right hand.

7.Now you have a cone shape, fill it up with your stuffing.

8. close the edges by pressing lightly and make the samosa stand.

Now you have the samosa ready to fry. In a pan, heat oil. When the oil is hot, deep fry the samosa till it becomes light brown in colour.

Serve hot with sauce/ketchup/chutney.

Variations:

1. The major variation you can do is with your samosa stuffing. You can stuff your samosa with anything you like. Even meat/chicken, your wish.

2. You can make your samosa in any shape you want.

3. Instead of deep frying the samosa, you can also bake it. Wow! sounds healthy right? Yes you can bake them too. Preheat the oven at 400 degree F for 5 minutes. Place the samosa and reduce the temperature to 300 degree F. In 45 minutes you have hot baked samosa ready. In between the baking process, just check once or twice so that the samosa is baked evenly in all sides.

I am sending this recipe to Monthly mingle started by Meeta. This month it is Appetizers & Hors'Doeuvres hosted by Mansi.

5.18.2008

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Moong Dal Fry - A healthy Side dish


Out of all the dal varieties, moong dal is more healthy and cooks fast too. The split moong bean is called moong dal and is either green(with husk) or yellow(when de husked) in colour.


The nutritional value of moong bean per 100g when boiled is as follows,


calories:110Kcal

carbohydrate: 19.15g

Sugar: 2g

Fat: 0.38g

Dietary Fiber: 7.8g

Vitamin C: 1mg

Calcium:27mg


There are a lot of recipes with moong dal as its main ingredient. One such recipe is Moong Dal fry. This is a very tasty and easy to prepare recipe. You can use this as side dish for dosa, idly, chapatti or you can also mix it with rice and eat.


Ingredients:


1 cup of Moong Dal

1/2 onion finely chopped

2 Red chilli whole

1tsp mustard seeds

1tsp cumin seeds

a pinch of hing powder

1tsp urad dal

1tsp channa dal

1 strand of curry leaves

2 - 3 garlic flakes

salt to taste

oil

2 cup of water


Method:


Pressure cook the moong dal and garlic with water for 4 hisses.

Mash the cooked moong dal and garlic. In a pan, add oil, mustard seeds. When the seeds pops, add cumin seeds, hing powder, urad dal and channa dal and saute.

Add red chillli whole, curry leaves. Now add the onions and fry till they become brown.

Add the cooked moong dal and let it come to a boil. add salt and stir occasionally.

Serve hot.

How to eat healthy and look young

Everyone including men want to look young. Though it is believed that women are more beauty conscience, men can't deny the fact that they take every possible step to look young. Why should we look young? of course it increases our self confidence, makes us feel we are the best. How can we achieve this? With the development of technology we have a gazillion methods to make you look young. Surgery, skin transplantation etc, but do we really have to go through pain to achieve this? My answer is a big NO. Our body is under our control. We are the masters and our body functions on our command. So what can we do to look young? It is very simple, Eat healthy food.

Few days back I came across this article in NY times emphasising on eating healthy and calorie restricted, one can live longer and be young always.
Eat Healthy and Look Young

Effects of time and age can be reversed by eating healthy.Food when consumed properly can nourish, revitalize and give more energy to our body and makes us look young in the process.Who doesn't want to be the center of attraction? So what is this healthy food and where do we get them? The answer is very easy, it is there in your kitchen. Most of the food, these days, are processed. By processed I mean containing chemicals,pollutants,toxins etc. When we eat these food as our primary source of nutrition, we indirectly poison our bodies and have to work hard to get rid of the bad stuff that we have unknowingly consumed.


Antioxidants are natural anti-aging substances which can protect us from cell damage. Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) is a method of measuring antioxidant capacities of different foods. Fruits and vegetables with high ORAC helps us look young. Food with high ORAC includes beans,lentils,apple,banana,broccoli, blackberry,cranberry,strawberry,black plum,cherry,pecan etc. When we add the required amount of these foods in our diet we are decreasing our risk of aging.

To know more do read this ORAC related information .

10 super food for age defying beauty.

Back in Oprah's show, she was discussing about 'Look 10yrs young in 10days' and was discussing about Dr. Nicholas Perricone's top 10 super food that helps us in overcoming or aging problems (beauty wise). These include

Acai fruit
Anything with 'Allium Family' - like garlic,onions etc
Barley
Green Foods
Buckwheat:Seed & Grain
Beans and Lentils
Hot peppers
Nuts &Seeds
Sprouts
Yogurt and Kefir

To learn more about these food and their nutritional value visit Top 10 super food.

To get more details on this Oprah's show visit Oprah Winfrey show.

Why should we include these in our diet? These food items helps us reduce inflammation, reduce cancer,hear disease,blood pressure,high cholesterol. With having these benefits we should definitely give it a thought to include these in our diet.

Also Richard Haigh, gives his 15 tips on how to look young eating healthy .

With all these and more information floating in the web, I believe we will take a wise decision of including these food in our diet, for not only to look young, but also to be healthy.

5.17.2008

You can make a difference - Fight Poverty

Poverty is hunger. Poverty is illiteracy. Poverty is not able to see a doctor for curing illness. Poverty is incapacitated. Poverty is unemployment. Poverty is ... and it goes on. But usually when we hear the word poverty, the first thing that comes to our mind is hunger. Poverty, is not only in under developed or developing countries., it is obscure in many of the developed countries. Why do we have to face poverty even in the developed countries?

1) rise in oil and energy prices which affect the entire value chain of food production, from fertilizer to harvesting to storage and delivering;

2) economic boom in some developing economies, creating increased demand for cereals;

3) weather-related events meaning bad harvests;

4) competition between food and fuel shift to bio fuels production leading to market speculation.

With these and many more hidden reasons there a million of people dying due to poverty.

Cant we do anything? When we read about articles that emphasis on the problems of the world, we develop a rage and impuissance. There are a lot of people who are ready to volunteer to fight against poverty but doesn't know how.

Friends of the world food program helps us contribute to fight against poverty in our own way. I am writing this as a post because I have a food blog and it would be ungrateful if I do not contribute in any way. This is my way of contributing to fight against poverty - creating awareness through my blog. Please do contribute in your own way so that we can fight poverty and reduce the number of people and children dying due to poverty (hunger deaths).

Play and give free rice

I will be announcing an event in the month of July'08 for this great cause. Hope we can make a difference!

5.16.2008

Plain Paratha recipe


'Paratha, one of the most difficult and time consuming recipe'- This was what I was assuming before trying out this easy recipe told by my Friend. Generally, parathas will have layers and kind of time consuming process. But,this recipe is very easy and even beginners can make wonderful and tasty parathas.

Ingredients :
2 cups of Wheat flour

Salt to taste
3tbspn Ghee/Melted butter
oil and Water to knead dough

Method :

Mix wheat flour ,2 tsp ghee, salt & Required water to make a dough consistency.

Rub oil over & knead it soft .

Let it rest for an hour. The more it rests, the more the parathas will be softer.

Take a small amount of dough and roll it with the help of the roti roller. Apply some butter/ghee to it . Fold into two again fold the same.Start rolling to form a triangle or any shape you want.

The main thing is, you need to roll and fold for at least 3 to 4 times.

Heat a tawa or flat pan or griddle ,when it gets hot, add the paratha & let it cook for a minute. Now turn around & add a small tsp of ghee/oil around the paratha and cook for a minute. Now the paratha puffs up. Turn the other side and cook for 1/2 minute.

When you are sure that both the sides are cooked serve hot with Channa Masala or any other side dish of your choice.

Channa Masala - A traditional Punjabi Recipe


When I was in India, my neighbour aunt always calls me if she makes channa masala in her house. She is an extraordinary cook and channa masala is one of her speciality. Even restaurant's channa masala can't compete with the taste and look of her recipe. I am very happy to share her recipe with you all.

Ingredients:

1 cup of channa (chickpeas)
1 tsp of channa masala powder
1 springs coriander leaves finely chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
2 number gr chillies
1tbsp lime juice
3 tbsp oil
2 number onion finely chopped
Salt to taste
2 number tomatoes finely chopped
1 pinch turmeric
few piece whole garam masala (cardamom, bay leaf, Cinnamon,cloves)


Method:

Soak the channa for 4-5hrs and then pressure cook it with a pinch of salt for 3 hisses. Make sure you add required amount of salt (required for channa alone) while pressure cooking, otherwise you have to say bye bye to your dish.

In a pan, add oil ,cumin seeds and whole garam masala and wait till you get the aroma of the masalas. Add the finely chopped onions and fry them till they are brown.

Add ginger garlic paste and saute. Now add green chilles, and tomatoes and saute them for few minutes.

Add turmeric and chilli powder and mix them well. When the tomatoes are well cooked , add channa masala powder and add the water that we drained from the channa while pressure cooking. Add salt.

Let it come to a boil. Now add the channa and mix well. Cook for 5 - 10mts in Sim flame. Garnish it with finely chopped cilantro and finaly add some lime juice and serve hot with Batura, Parathas, roti, puri or you can have this as a chat.



Variations:


1.You can make a paste with onions, garlic and coriander and use that instead of chat masala


2.You can also mash few channa and add it to your gravy for better mixing.


Chickpeas are a helpful source of zinc, protein. They are also very high in dietery fiber and which results in a healthy source of carbohydrate for persons with insulin sensitivity or diabetic. One hundred grams of mature boiled chickpeas contains 7.6g of dietry fiber and thats what we are talking about. This goes to my Eat healthy- Fiber rich event.

5.15.2008

Lose weight eating hotel food?

About 95% of the population loves to eat out. Maybe because of the fact that many of the homemade recipes cannot compete with the taste of restaurant made. 'The average diner underestimates his or her calorie count by up to 93 percent when eating out' says the results of a research done by University of Arkansas. Do you know what it means? It obviously means that we intake more calories than we expect to, when eating at restaurants. UK Department of Health Estimated Average Requirements (EAR) are a daily calorie intake of 1940 calories per day for women and 2550 calories for men. But when we eat out, we intake at least thrice the amount of calories that is required for our body. The extra calories take control of our body gradually and after sometime we find ourselves either obese or out of shape.

When I was browsing through Yahoo health today, I came across this informative article. Though I knew that eating out does not help in maintain weight, I was really in shock when I got the approximate statistics of how we unknowingly fall for these scrumptious recipes which we think are healthy. Here is the
Article

Eat Healthy - Launch of a new foodie event

Many have been an inspiration to start this event. When I threw myself into this blogosphere, I found so many great cooks who are unselfishly sharing their recipes with us. I can see their dedication and passion towards cooking by looking at the pictures they take. Wow! They truly inspire me to contribute more. Who are 'they'? I am very proud to mention about my blog friends (Though I have never spoken to them personally.) It doesn't matter in this blog world. Mansi Desai, Meeta, Srivalli, Sailaja, Uma, Divya, Susan,DK,Priya, madhuram and many others. Each one inspired me in their own way. They made me realise that I can contribute more and I have learned a lot from their recipes. So, what is this Event all about? There are gazillion foodie event happening daily in this blog world and I do not want to be an exception. I want to host one too :) (New blogger enthusiasm. lol!). Finally I decided on the topic. Hope my event is not a replica ;) (if so please forgive me, I have no intentions of copying your idea. It is just a coincidence) Coming to the event. I call this ' Eat Healthy'.

Eat Healthy is a monthly event starting every 15th. It is a theme based event like many others. Each month I will be announcing the theme in my blog either on 14th or 15th morning.


This month it is Eat Healthy - Fiber Rich.

Why did I choose 'Eat healthy'? With this life becoming more mechanical, it is very obvious that we have very less time for self care. In our priority list we come last (you cannot deny this. our family is first, then work, then friends, then relatives...I don't see us anywhere near the top five. At least for most of us it is like this). If we eat healthy, without a doubt our family will eat healthy. After all we are the ones who are cooking ;). So why not try healthy recipes which are quicker and easier to make?

Rules are very simple and will be familiar to most of you out there. Anyway, here comes the rules part.

1. Make any dish – be it Appetizer, Main Course or Dessert , Vegetarian/Non -Vegetarian, any cuisine and using any ingredient, anything under the sun that is Fiber rich and post the recipe in your blog /site and link it back to this announcement. I would greatly appreciate if you use the logo.

The only point to be noted is, this recipe must be easy and simple to make. There are only a few who have patience and time to try out recipes which takes hours and hours of preparation :).

2. Multiple entries are more than welcome . More entries, more choices for us to eat healthy.
3. Take a snap of your recipe and send it across with a size of 250 X 250 pixels.
4. Send me your “Name”, “Recipe”, “Recipe URL”, “Photo” and “Location” to : letusallcook@gmail.com i.e. letusallcook(AT)gmail(DOT)com with the subject as Eat healthy - Fiber Rich.

5. Last date for the entries are 11:59PM (Pacific time), June 14th 2008.

6. Not having a blog is no excuse to let you get away with your passion for cooking. Non-Bloggers don't worry, there are always ways to achieve your passion :) please do send me the same details as above to the mail given and I will post it in the round-up with your details.

7.Older entries on blogs can be accepted only if they are republished during this event period with a link-back to this announcement.

Hope you all participate and make this event a great success and encourage me to contribute more. Looking forward for your healthy recipes :)

As of now it is not a competition, however I would be more than happy if I could host a competition. I have to either get a sponsor or I have to get enough money for the prizes (mostly by nagging my hubby as I quit my job :) . Either way, I think it will take some time. But hoping that I could achieve this soon.



Take a look at our other EAT Healthy Events.

5.14.2008

Vegetarian delight - A Calcium rich recipe



According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, "The average dietary intake of calcium by children and adolescents is well below the recommended levels of adequate intake." This can mean that these children will not develop their optimal bone mass, which can put them at risk of fractures and osteoporosis.

What is osteoporosis?: Osteoporosis is a disease in which bones become fragile and more likely to break. If not prevented or if left untreated, osteoporosis can progress painlessly until a bone breaks. These broken bones, also known as fractures, occur typically in the hip, spine, and wrist.

While women are four times more likely than men to develop the disease, men also suffer from osteoporosis. Reading these information from http://www.nof.org/osteoporosis/index.htm I was totally shocked. It all happens because of the calcium deficiency and so here is a calcium rich recipe.

I have used broccoli,cabbage,carrot,garlic,spinach,tomato,egg,black pepper,lettuce - These are calcium rich.

Ingredients: ( for 2 Person)

1/2 onion finely chopped
1 tomato finely chopped
1 carrot cut lengthwise
1/4 cup green peas (optional)
1/4 cup cabbage
1/4 cub spinach
1/4 cub lettuce
2-3 Garlic flakes finely chopped
1 Egg with yellow or 2 egg whites (Optional)
2 to 3 Roti (optional)
Salt to taste
1tsp of olive oil
1tsp coriander powder
2tsp pepper
1 cup water

Method:

In a Pan, add oil. Add the onions and saute. Add tomatoes and garlic. fry them for a min. Now add all the vegetables and 1 cup of water.

Half cook the vegetables. Add salt,coriander powder and pepper.

(optional) - In a tawa, do roti with wheat flour. Make it into pieces and put it in the cooking mixture. Try Missi roti -A Rajasthani food for this; it surely does add some flavour.

Add the eggs and mix well. Cook the mixture in a medium flame. Stir continuously so that the egg forms a coating with the vegetables and all the water is evaporated. This takes around 5 to 8 min. Serve hot.

Variations:

1.You can avoid egg and instead add yogurt.
2.You can avoid Roti and use it as a side dish for your main course.
3. You can mix this with pasta and prepare a vegie pasta delight too :)

Note: I am considering Egg as vegetarian, for those who don't use egg in their diet can replace it with yogurt.




I am sending this as an entry to beautiful bones event hosted by Susan.

Eat Healthy and Stay healthy !

Puff Pastry

I love Puffs. who doesn't? In my school days there used to be a canteen and almost daily I used to eat puffs prepared there. Till now, I have never eaten puffs that is more tasty than those canteen puffs. Maybe my mind is fixed with that thought because they were my first puffs. Anyway, after becoming a cook myself, I tried to make puffs, but to be very frank, my puff pastry always ended up in a mess. Why waste time when we get puff pastry ready made in the shops? - This was my thought until I saw this video my vah chef 'Sanjay'. This video made me realise the mistakes I made and also inspired me to try out myself. Guess what? I tried out and to my surprise it came out well for a person who usually messes her pastry ;)

I have embedded this video here. You can also see this various other food preparations at vahrehvah.com


Mango Crepes Recipe

When I was searching for a mango recipe to post in my blog today, I came across this lovely recipe posted by priya. Wow! when I read the recipe, I knew I had to share it with you all. Mango crepes - A small and very thin Pancake done with Mango :)

This being Summer in India, we are very sure that we will get mangoes in plenty and trying a different food recipe always makes me feel adventurous.

It is very easy to make as per the instruction given. I am going to make this for my breakfast.How about you?

Here is the link to
Priya's Kitchen where she has posted her recipe :) enjoy!

5.13.2008

Mango Lassi


A refreshing drink in summer is always appreciated. Lassi is a very famous Indian drink made with yogurt. You can do different kinds of lassi and today I did one with mango, yes Mango lassi.

Ingredients:
1/4 tsp cardamom powder (optional)
4 number Ice cubes
1 cup Plain yogurt
1 cup Ripe mango (chopped)
2 tbsp Sugar (add more sugar if you want your lassi to be more sweet)
a pinch of salt

Method:
Peel and chop mango into medium slices.
Blend it with the help of blender.
Add all other ingredients and blend till smooth.
Refrigerate before drinking or add crushed ice if desired.

You may wonder why salt? I always add a pinch of salt to any sweet. It brings out the sweetness more. Try it, you won't regret.

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WHAT IS RSS?

Every newbie in this blogging world will have this question in mind. Even I had.

RSS is a technology that is being used by millions of web users around the world to keep track of their favorite websites. It is also called aggregator, which can be web-based or desktop-based.

In olden days we use 'Bookmark' to keep track of our favourite websites. Every time we have to manually return to the bookmarked site and check for updates and most of the time we forget that we had bookmarked something at all.

The Problems with Bookmarking

-You have to manually check for updates
-You cannot keep track of many web pages at the same time. Kind of complicates.
-You miss information if you forget to check the bookmark often

RSS, the saver

RSS is surely a saver and makes our life easier. RSS stands for ‘Really Simple Syndication’. Many people describe it as a ‘news feed’ that you subscribe to.

Subscription via RSS is similar to a Magazine subscription. You get monthly or weekly journals to your house by mail. You need not do anything, it comes to you. Same is with RSS reader and the best part is, you need not pay anything to get the feeds to your desktop or email.

How to use RSS?

It is very simple. There are many RSS readers out there like Google reader, Bloglines etc which helps us consolidate our favourite feeds and give it to us in an organised manner. For more information checkout their sites.

Subscribe via email:

If you do not want to use a RSS reader, you can always subscribe via email and you get the updates delivered to your inbox free of cost! Can we ask for more?

Check out this video. RSS, explained in a very simple way.


RSS In Plain English


It is really very refreshing if you come to know that there are regular readers for what you write. It does encourage every writer. I am no exception. Do subscribe to my blog and you will never be disappointed.


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