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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Raw rice pudding/Payasam/dessert and awards!

When I was in my middle school, our neighbour does 'Pournami pooja', which is nothing but performing special prayers for good fortunes and spiritual evolvement on every full moon day. She is a pious lady. Every time, I will be sitting at her home for this pooja just to eat the prasadam she offers. We used to sing to the god and perform arathi.

Every time she gives this raw rice payasam after the prayers are over. You know, as a kid, I went there mostly for eating this raw rice payasam. After I went to high school, we shifted our house and apparently lost touch with her and her payasam.

Recently, I remembered this recipe and wanted to prepare it. So here I am sharing the recipe of Raw rice Payasam/pudding, my favourite dessert.


1/4 cup raw rice, which when fried in ghee and coarsely blended must give 1 cup of powdered rice.

1 cup of sugar

1 tbsp of ghee (clarified butter)

few cashews and raisins

1 cup of milk


In a pan, add ghee and saute the rice.

In a blender, coarsely powder the rice.

In a pan, add milk and cook the powdered rice.

Add sugar. Beware! the rice must be cooked properly before adding the sugar. Sugar doesn't allow the rice to get cooked.

Add fried cashews and raisins and serve hot or you can refrigerate it and serve cold. Both ways it tastes divine.

Now for the awards.

I got this 'Good job' award from sowmya. Thanks girl!

and I am passing this to,

Srilekha of Sri's kitchen
Ramya of Ramya cooks
Medha of Cook with love
Divya Vikram of Dilse
Marija of Palachinka

Also few days back I received the 'Wylde Woman Award' from kitchen flavour and srilekha

which I am passing to the whole food bloggers ofcourse who are women :)

And Yasmeen have passed me the Arte Y Pico award.

The rules of the award are:
1. Choose 5 blogs that you consider deserving of this award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and their contribution to the blogging community.
2. Each award has to have the name of the author and a link to his/her blog.
3. Each award winner has to show the award and put the name of and link to the blog that presented her/him with the award.
4. The award winner and the one who has given the prize has to show the link of Arte Y Pico blog so everyone will know the origin of this award.
5. Show these rules.

I would like to award it to

Sia of monsoonspice.
Meeta of whats for lunch honey?
Cynthia of Tastes like home
Madhuram of egglesscooking
Jai and Bee of Jugalbandi

I must say, all the above mentioned 5 blogs have been an inspiration to me someway or the other. They all deserve more!

Those in the US, enjoy your Labour day weekend!!!!


Did you know your husband cooks?

If I had known my husband can cook this Kothu parotta so very well, I would have definitely prepared this and sent to MBP street food hosted by Sia. I never knew my husband could cook! Poor me! He had been hiding this great secret of his from me for a long time now (we know each other for more than 5yrs). Innocent me! With this note I have to tell you how I caught him as a chef. I must say a decent chef, for a person who doesn't even move his plate after eating. I know! My mil has pampered him in this regard.

It was a week back and I had some usual problems with my health. I was feeling very tired and slept at around 5PM in the evening. I had a great dream. I was strolling with my best friend near my house(in India) and to mention, I was in my 10th std in my dream. Good old days! Miss them!.Back to my dream. We had a tiff and she was consoling me. Suddenly, I must say, these things happen only in dreams, we saw a street shop and he was preparing...of course Kothu parotta.

Though we generally do not like the ambiance, the aroma lured us into the shop and obviously we were drooling. The waiter, instead of asking what we wanted to eat was yelling 'Get up! Its 8.00PM. Time to Eat! You can sleep after that.' and that too in my husbands voice. lol!

By now, all know that my sleep got disturbed and I was sitting with a plate full of Kothu Parotta prepared by my loving husband. Though I was very happy, I couldn't tolerate the fact that he messed up my kitchen. Yes! the Kothu Parotta tasted Divine. But my kitchen!omg! was a mess. I spent 30 mts cleaning it. But, it was a sweet surprise. I have requested him to give surprises like this, even if it takes my time to clean up after he is done with his surprises.

Now coming to the recipe (My husband's version of Egg Kothu Parotta).

Ingredients (Serves 2)

4 Parotta (It can be homemade or frozen)
2 Eggs
1 finely chopped onion
2 finely chopped green chillies
salt to taste
pepper to taste


Cook the Parotta. If Frozen parotta is used, then heat it and cook it before preparing this recipe.

Cut the parotta into small pieces. They need not be even, but need to be small.

In a pan, add oil and saute the onions till they turn light brown.

Now add the green chillies and half the salt.

Add the eggs and mix well.

Add little pepper.

When the egg is half cooked ,add the cut parotta and mix well.

Now check for salt and if needed add some.

While mixing, use a spatula to do a repeated pounding so that the egg,parotta and the onions mix well.

Serve hot with any of your favourite side dish. I loved it without any.

Note: The Kothu parotta made in streets, will have some more spices and also a sauce to it. Since it is a home made version, we had to cut on these spices and sauce, mainly because my husband did not know where I kept them in my kitchen ;)

You can also do chicken kothu parotta, meat kothu parotta, the same way and adding more spices to the recipe.

I hope every married women would have had an experience like this. Sharing can be fun. Did you know your husband cooks? Waiting to hear your stories.


Does our New Kitchen Friend ‘ Frozen Food’ have nutrition?

Yesterday, we went grocery shopping and as usual I was standing before the Frozen food aisle and asking permission from my better half for buying frozen vegetables , corn and coconut. It happens always with us. Every time, there will be a series of advice for me before the frozen food aisle from my husband. This time, It was different. He did not say anything. Am I dreaming? Of course not! He could not say anything because I had shown him few articles related to Frozen food and its nutrients. Don’t know if this is the case with you, but the information sure is useful.

Frozen food, as we all know is food preserved by the process of freezing. Ask a working women, I bet she will bless the Frozen food companies. Because of this new boom in the super market, people lead a easy ‘kitchen life’, I would say. For most of the people, cooking is a ‘chore’. Only few people love to cook and others cook just to live.

All those who don’t like to spend more time in the kitchen, have a common friend named ‘Frozen Food’. But is it healthy to live a lifestyle based on frozen food? There is a general thought among people that frozen food is bad for health. But is it really true? Are we eating just junk? Frozen food can save time but is it taking away our health in return?

This made do some research in the Internet to find few facts about this hot frozen food aisle! A Study reveals that last year sales increased by 4.2 per cent, and the frozen vegetable market is growing even faster, with a 6.4 per cent rise. Does it mean that there are more working women/men?A big No. Maybe people have become lazy! Don’t hit me. I am one among them too. C’mon frozen food does make life easy in the kitchen.

Nutrients in Frozen Food Vs Fresh Food:

To be very frank even I believed that frozen food are crap! But, after reading the results of various studies, which all produce the same results, made me realise that ‘frozen food are not bad after all’.

Nutrious frozen food can play role in weight loss programs - Research dietician LeaAnn Carson found that packaged frozen entrées helped loose more weight compared with those who made their own meals.

More studies revealed that the nutrition in frozen food is more or less the same as that of fresh food. Fresh food has marginally more Calcium and potassium to it, but when it comes to Vitamin C, frozen food is the winner. We have to accept that the fresh vegetables lose their nutrients the longer they are out from the ground.Whereas frozen food is carefully packed helping it to hold on to vitamins.

Check out the Frozen Assets from Women’s health magazine.

Note that frozen food do have high chances of getting contaminated if not stored properly.

How to tell if the frozen food has gone bad:

This is a highly sensitive issue. Most of the time we end up eating because we bought them. Most of us really can’t digest the fact that we are wasting food, in turn our hard earned money. But think. Just think. Is it better to throw the spoiled food or sit in our doctors clinic due to food poison. Again, Food poison is a different issue.

The first and foremost rule is, ‘When in doubt, throw it out!’. There are specific rules to be followed for each type of food. For example, beware of lettuce which is watery and has a foul smell. Not only lettuce, any frozen vegetable/fruit/meat, if spoiled can be easily identified by its smell and appearance. Our Nose is our weapon here.

Any canned goods that have become the size or shape of a softball should be disposed of. Carefully.

And there is always the simplest way of finding if the food is spoiled . Check its expiration date.Duh!

Few Do’s and Don'ts in Frozen world:

1.Make sure you do your frozen food shopping last, so that the food is preserved till you get to your home.

2.Make sure that most of the air is removed from the bag which contains the food.

3.Place the frozen food in the freezer immediately after reaching home.

4.When boiling the frozen food, place the food directly from the freezer into the boiling water and serve hot.

5.Microwave the frozen food before cooking. This helps to retain most of the nutrients.

6.Wrap meats and baked goods tightly with foil before you place them in freezer bags to prevent freezer burns.

7.Do not store frozen food for more than 3 months in the case of vegetables, corn, peas,coconut etc.

8.In case of fish,meat, try to use them within a week.

9.Place the food items in the coldest part of your freezer, until they're completely frozen.

10. Checkout the Frozen Food Guide which gives an idea of how to do Frozen food shopping .

How is our experience with frozen food?

Do participate in the survey I am conducting about frozen food, just to learn how many more are like me! Voting poll is placed in my sidebar.

Was there a time your frozen food got spoiled?

Did you experience food poison?

Or Do you give a 100% support to frozen food?

Do Share it with us by leaving a comment. Help us sort out what is best !

Conclusion: I am not promoting Frozen food! These are few facts which I learnt browsing the Internet. It is completely your choice to go with frozen food. But, I can surely say that frozen food are not a bad substitute for fresh food. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, we have to choose wisely between these two so that it best suits our lifestyle and our health.

UPDATE: Here is the result of the Poll which I conducted in my blog for Frozen Food.

The question was : Frozen and You. How often you use it in your diet?
Poll Result :

Poll Result

Once a Week :19%
2 times a week:8%
3 or more times a week:12%
Few times a month:38%
No way:20%

Total votes: 86


Calling all Food Bloggers for 'The 101 Recipe Series'

When I was browsing through for omelet recipes, I came across a few which was really new to me. With our creativity we can do wonders in cooking. Before this, I knew only 2 ways of preparing omelet. One is with egg white alone and the other with vegetables. But going through these varieties like French omelet,Spanish and Mexican omelet etc made me realise that there are more varieties of omelet to be discovered.

Here is a challenge to our creativity!101 omelet recipes! I hope this will be fun and a treat for all the egg lovers. Not only omelet, we can use our creativity to any recipe and make it a new one.

For the mere sake of fun and more fun, I am starting a new event called 101 recipe series. As of now there is no time limit for this event. Here are the rules.

1. I will be announcing the recipe/food for which we need to derive 101 different ways of preparation.

2. There is no time limit as of now, the first 101 recipes which are unique will be consolidated and presented as 'The 101 Recipes'.

3. Once we get 101 different ways of preparing the dishthe round up will be posted and we will be up for the next 101 recipe series..

4. The first challenge is 101 Omelet recipes.

5. Post a Omelet recipe which is still not yet included in 101 recipe series, link back to this event and send me an email to with subject '101 recipe series #1:Omelet' and the following details,

Recipe Name:
Recipe URL :

You can send in previously posted entries by re posting them and linking it back to the event.

6. I will be updating the omelet recipes immediately so that we can avoid duplication. So do check back this event page before preparing omelet for this event.

7.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 recipe details as above to the mail given and I will post it in the round-up with your details.

Do let me know if there is any questions and ideas for making this event more fun.

Remember! the first 101 recipes are only counted so hurry up and send in your entries so that we can complete this 101 omelet recipes.

Few Tips for choosing Omelet Pan:

Omelet comes out best with a non-stick pan, preferably aluminum with a nonstick coating. It must have sloping rather than steep sides.

An 8-inch pan is good two egg omelet and a 10-inch pan for a five egg omelet. It depends on the egg size. If it is normal size eggs, the 10 inch pan can be used for 6 egg omelet. But this is when you directly break the eggs over the pan, but if you beat it separately, you can always use a scooping vessel and accommodate it correctly.

Now comes the entries for this 101 omelet series,

1. Vegetable Omelet from Art of cooking Indian food

2. Ham Omelet from Heart and Hearth.

3. Onion Omelet from Ramya's kitchen corner

4. Baked Mushroom Omelet from Priya Easy and Tasty Recipes

5.Potato Omelet from Priya Easy and Tasty Recipes

6.Aloo Gobi Omelet from alexisthetiny

7.French Bean omelet from teczcape - an escape to food

8.Carrot Omelet from Priya Easy and Tasty Recipes

9.Zucchini Omelet from Priya Easy and Tasty Recipes

10.Chicken chunks onion Omelet from Priya Easy and Tasty Recipes

11.Spicy Indian Omelet - Its HOT! from Art of cooking Indian food

12.Eggless Omelet from Myviews

13. Eggless (Maida) Omelet from EC

14.Omelet Dosa from Kitchen chronicles

15.Zucchini Omelet from Kitchen chronicles

16.Green Omelet from Dershana

17.Mixed Omelet from My Spicy Kitchen

18.Shrimp Omelet from Heart and Hearth

19.Mutton kofta omelet from Malar Gandhi

20.mutton kheem omelet from Malar Gandhi

21.Asparagus-Cheese Omlette from Malar Gandhi

22.celery omelet from Malar Gandhi

23.Plain english omelet from Malar Gandhi

24.cheese omelet from Malar Gandhi

25.mushroom omelet from Malar Gandhi tomato omelet from Malar Gandhi style omelet from Malar Gandhi

28.Beets Omelet from Priya Easy and Tasty Recipes

29.Bok choy Omelette from Priya Easy and Tasty Recipes

30.Hearty Omelet from Aarti

31.Mushroom Cream Omelet from Priya Easy and Tasty Recipes

32. Dal Omelet from easy2cook recipes

33.Spicy Ginger Omelet from easy2cook recipes

34.Nuts and Cheese Omelet from easy2cook recipes

35.Oregano Omlette from PG's Kitchen Stories

36.Tofu Onion Omelet from Priya Easy and Tasty Recipes

37.Vegetarian's Omelet from Kitchen Cronicles

38.Vegetarian Tofu Omelet from Priya Easy and Tasty Recipes

39.Garlic chives omelet from Priya Easy and Tasty Recipes

40.Greek sausages, sun dried tomatoes and onion omelette from Ivy

41.Mushrooms, feta, peppers and onions omelette from Ivy

42.Plain diet omelette from Ivy

43.Spinach Omelet from Gita

44.Cheese and Green onion Omelet from Debi Morris

45.Capsicum cheese Omelet from Shama of Easy2cookrecipes

46.Ratatouille Omelet from Contessa Stern

47.Put in everything omelet by Sudeshana

48.Asiago and Bell pepper Omelet by Caitlin

49.Oven Omelet by best kept recipes

50.100 Simple omelets - 1 page cookbook by Ramki

51,52,53.Spicy Tomato Omelet,Sprouted Omelet,Cauliflower omelet by Shama

54.Italian Frittatta by Raji

55.Vegetable Omelet by Shama

56. Spicy Omelet by Raji Karthik


Vermicelli (Semiya) Upma with Coconut Chutney

Vermicelli (Semiya) is is a type of pasta, round in section and somewhat thinner than spaghetti. Vermicelli is most commonly used in Asia for preparing various recipes. To name a few, Vermicelli Pulao, Vermicelli Upma, Vermicelli Kheer (Payasam) etc.

Upma is a Tamil word which is Uppu(Salt)+Mavuu (Any type of flour). A recipe made with any type of flour is basically called Upma. We can use Vermicelli(Semiya) to prepare this upma.

Vermicelli(Semiya) upma is one easy to prepare Tiffen item, often made in India. This recipe can be prepared in 10 minutes. This quick and tasty vermicelli(Semiya) upma can be prepared with or without vegetables. I am sharing the simplest version of vermicelli upma which can be altered according to your creativity.

To prepare a basic vermicelli upma you will need,

2 cups of Vermicelli (Semiya)
1 1/2 cup of water
2 tsp of ghee(Clarified butter) or oil
1 tsp urad dal
1 tsp channa dal
1 tsp mustard
1 oinion chopped lenghtwise
2 green chillies
Salt to taste


First of all to prepare this vermicelli upma, you have to fry the vermicelli in ghee or oil for few seconds until they turn light brown. Doing this is very important for getting the texture of the recipe right. If you don't fry them, then the upma will have lumps which will spoil the look and taste of the recipe. The fried vermicelli looks like what is shown in the below picture.

Now in a pan, heat 2 tsp of oil, add mustard. When it pops, add urad dal and channa dal.

Add the chopped onions and green chillies and saute them for few seconds

Add the water and salt and let it come to a boil.

Add the fried vermicelli and cook it in a Sim flame.

Within minutes the vermicelli will get cooked. Just be careful so that you do not burn the lower part of the upma.

Variation: You can add vegetables of your choice and make a vegetable vermicelli upma.

Serve hot with your favourite chutney/side dish. I like them with coconut chutney, the recipe of which is given below.

Ingredients for coconut chutney:

20 grams cashew nuts
1 piece chopped ginger
1 springs chopped coriander
2 piece chopped gr chilli
1 tbsp cumin
1 springs Curry leaves
1 cup grated coconut
1 pinch hing/Asafotida
1 tsp mustard
2 tbsp oil
3 piece red chill
1 pinch salt
1 pinch tamarind or lime
1 tbsp urad /wash -black gram


Mix the coconut, ginger, green chilli,coriander in a blender.

For tampering : In hot oil add mustard , red chilli ,cumin,urad dal, hing , curry leaves and a 1 tsp of lime juice.

Serve it with any tiffen item of your choice.

I am sending this Vermicelli (Semiya) upma and coconut chutney for
WBB- combi breakfast hosted by dear Latha.


Beetroot Halwa - A dessert which may lower your Blood Pressure!

Beetroot or simple Beet is a very ignored vegetable as far as I know. Most of the kids, even adults hesitate to eat any food made out of Beetroot. This may be due to its colour or the taste. But today, I am very much determined in sharing the nutritional value of Beetroot so that we do not miss a great source of nutrition in our diet.

"Beta vulgaris, commonly known as beetroot or beet which is the common American English term for the vegetable, is a flowering plant species in the family Chenopodiaceae. Several cultivars are valued around the world as edible root vegetables, fodder (mangel) and sugar-producing sugar beet."

says wiki. I never knew that Beetroot is a flowering plant.

Beetroot has a high medicinal value and I am sure most of us hate Beetroot for the same reason because we assume that medicines tastes awful. Beetroot contains folate, potassium and manganese. The green leafy tops are highly nutritious as they contain calcium, beta-carotene and iron. I have also heard that the red pigmentation of Beetroot contains some anti-cancer elements and hence have been used to treat cancer too. This is one of a kind vegetable which contains high nutritional value and less calories. Yes! It contains 36 calories for 4oz/100g.

Did you know that beetroot juice may lower our blood pressure?

"Drinking beetroot juice, or consuming other nitrate-rich vegetables, might be a simple way to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system"

says Professor Amrita Ahluwalia, Barts and The London School of Medicine. The key element here is the nitrates present in beetroot. I have been told that drinking beetroot juice daily in the morning not only helps lowering the blood pressure but also prevents constipation. So pregnant ladies, here comes a handy medicine for your constipation problems.

Do checkout the article in BBC news about how beetroot 'may cut blood pressure'.

Beetroot can be consumed in various ways which makes the food inviting. One is Beetroot halwa. Halwa is an arabic word meaning sweet. Mostly people in India make semolina/suji halwa or carrot halwa. But trying out halwa with beetroot is a very brilliant way of including a vegetable we hate in the recipe of a food we love. Who doesn't love dessert and that too if it is going to be all nutty! Here comes my Beetroot Halwa recipe.


1 cup beetroot, grated
3/4 cup of powdered sugar
1 cup of milk
1/4 cup of ghee, clarified butter or butter
2 cardamom whole
Few fried cashew
1/4 of powdered Almonds or any nuts of your choice


1. In a pan, fry the grated beetroot in ghee for 2 min.

2. Add the milk and cook the beetroot in a Sim flame.

3. Add sugar and stir occasionally.

4.Make sure that the beetroot is cooked before adding sugar, as sugar will not allow the beetroot to get cooked.

5. Now add the fried cashew and cardamom and mix well.

6. Finally before switching off, add the powdered nuts and mix slightly.

A crunchy nutritional dessert ready to be served! You can serve it with vanilla ice cream too. I love this combination.

I bet kids won't say a 'NO' to this beetroot halwa recipe!


Falafel with Pita bread, wow its Arabic!

It was during April'07, when we first stepped into our apartment in Chicago. My first US visit. I was all excited to spend my life as a full time homemaker. Not all will love this position. Though cooking at home is what we prefer, we love to experiment new cuisines. Food is our passion. My husband is a great food critic. Even now sometimes he is the one who checks for salt in my recipes! Though we entered US in April, we did not have car till September'07 and you know how life is in US without cars! You are literally handicapped without car in US, at least in Chicago.

Without cars we could not go out often. But, luckily we had few restaurants at walkable distance from our apartment. One of those was 'The Pita Inn' - An Arabic restaurant. Initially I was skeptical to try any food there because one of my friend had a bad experience with Arabic cuisine. But, my husband was very determined to have dinner there. He convinced me and off we went there walking. It sure was a good exercise!

As I am a vegetarian, I had only one option in the menu to order. My husband decided to be a vegetarian for that night and so we ordered 2 plates of ... yes! Falafel duh! If it was not for Falafel why am I saying these stories of mine. lol! Anyway, from that day I have become a great fan of Falafels and Pita bread and have always wanted to try it at home. Since then I had searched for Falafel recipes and finally here it is, for you to experiment at your home!

When zlamushka announced T&T this month, I know what I had to prepare. Yes! the tasty Falafel! Jugalbhandi is really a very good place for food lovers. They inspire to cook and I have already sent in my Rajma salsa for T&T. This is my second entry. Though my picture of falafel with pita bread is not as luring as theirs(they are the click gurus!), I am sure it will at least be a picture which captured my love for the food.

I tried baking them but as the Jugalbandits said, it was a little dry but tasted good. We both liked the deep frying part! oil, oil and more oil! sometimes you have to do sacrifices for your tongue!

I am also sending this entry to

Ruth's Bookmarked recipes event.

Madhuram's Your Recipe rocks!


You too can bake a simple yet delicious chocolate cake

Cakes - You can not throw a party without them. Be it a birthday party or bridal shower or baby shower or anniversaries there will be cakes. Why go to special days, even your weekend parties won't be complete if you do not have cakes. When it comes to cakes, no one can say 'No' to chocolate cakes. why cakes? Anything with chocolates can't be ignored, at least it is like that for me.

There are a different ways of baking a chocolate cake- With eggs, without eggs, the vegan way. But I am going to share a very very simple way of preparing cakes with eggs. I will be posting a recipe for chocolate cake without eggs soon. Once you have mastered the art of baking, you can do magic with your oven.

Before sharing the recipe of simple chocolate cake, I want to share this crazy experience of mine. Its been over a month that I had bookmarked DK's Zebra cake. I wanted to try that cake. But, being an amateur, I did not want to take risk. Baking an ordinary cake itself is a great accomplishment for me. But,I was lured into making that cake. With a lot of confidence I headed to my kitchen and started preparing the dough for zebra cake. In that process, there is a phase where you have to separate the dough equally so that you can add coco powder in one to get zebra stripes. But, I made an amateur mistake. The dough I separated for mixing coco powder was more. So when I was putting the dough in layers, it messed up. But, I ended up in this simple chocolate cake which had a great taste and looked inviting. I would suggest all out there to bake! bake! bake! as you will end up in new recipes as I did which will do wonders at home.

Now coming to the recipe for simple chocolate cake


1 1/2 cup of All purpose flour
1 cup of butter
1 1/2 cup of sugar
1 cup milk (room temperature)
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tbsp chocolate syrup OR 2tsp coco powder
1 tsp baking powder
3 eggs


1. In a bowl mix the flour and baking powder.

2. In another bowl beat the eggs and sugar till they are blended well.

3. Now add the vanilla essence and milk to the eggs and beat them for few minutes so that the mixture is well blended.

4. Add the flour little by little and blend it to the egg mixture.

5. Now, add chocolate syrup or coco powder and mix well.

6. Preheat the oven at 350 degree F for 10 min. Then place the cake dough in the oven for 30-40 min

7. Check with the help of a toothpick or fork whether the cake is done. The toothpick will come out clean if the cake is done.

8. Allow the cake to cool for 10 min. Enjoy!


1. Do not open the oven for at least the first 25 min as this will disturb the cake formation.

2.Do not over beat the mixture that will form bubbles.


Red Kidney Beans (Rajma), corn chipotle Salsa

Trying out new cuisines gives you a pride. Whenever you taste a new dish prepared by the cook in you, don't you get a sense of accomplishment? I do! It gives great job satisfaction. Trying out new recipes have become an undefined task for me. Browsing through my fellow foodies blog and finding something interesting and cooking it is real fun! It makes me feel like I am in school and I am completing my day's assignments!

Yesterday, when I was struck by boredom, I wanted to cook something so that I can change my mood. Now, I had to find some recipe to cook instantly. In a flash, I remembered Jai n Bee's Black bean Salsa. Though I did not have Black beans in my kitchen, I did have (Red Kidney Beans)Rajma. So here comes the Black Bean Chipotle salsa from Jugalbandhi with the variation of using (Red Kidney Beans)Rajma instead of Black beans.

I need to say, Jugalbandhi is one of my favourite spots online. Jai and Bee are doing an awesome job and they inspire me in taking wonderful, mouth watering pictures. Whenever I need a treat for my eyes I jump straight to their site. Keep rocking guys!

This lovely Rajma Salsa which is rich in protein is dancing its way to the following events.

Tried and Tasted hosted by zlamushka. This time it is Jugalbandhi's turn to be tried and tasted. Though their original recipe had Pasta to go with this salsa, I can say for sure that this salsa tasted great and can be eaten all alone!

One Dish Meal : Salads hosted by Archana

Your recipe rocks by Madhuram - Finally an entry to one of my favourite events!

This is a non-rice item which can be eaten for lunch or dinner or snack! It is filling and healthy too!

There is one more recipe I wanted to re post for the Long Live the Shelf event hosted by Roma. I am sending this Tamarind Paste (Puliyodarai paste)which can be stored for a week when refrigerated in an air tight container. This paste can be used to make tamarind rice.


Donate for a Heart - An appeal to all the fellow bloggers

When I saw today's post in srivalli's Cooking 4 All season, I was really upset! The story really affected my mood. Why should such agony and pain come to people and that too poor people? Only God has answers to it. But, we can make a difference. We can contribute to this fundraiser and make 'Lakshmi' live longer at least for her kids.

Ramya, from Ramyacooks won the
Eat health Protein Rich contest and won $20 prize money. She was so sure that the money must be given to a non-profitable organisation that helps the needy. When we were discussing on how to send and where to send the money, I came across this fundraiser by Srivalli and in a flash I decided that I should be sending this money for this event. When I discussed this with Ramya, she was more than happy and immediately gave a go ahead.

Though it is a very minimal contribution from our side, we are happy that we were able to help.

"We will be managing the funds and will pay the hospital directly, once she gets admitted. No funds will be directly handled by the family members. The fund collected will be used for her operation, post operation charges plus to support them for at least few months." says, srivalli with utmost dedication and commitment in raising the fund for a great cause.

I request through this post, all my readers, to contribute either as money or by promoting this
fundraiser so that the target money can be reached.

Please mail Srivalli at, if you have any question regarding this fundraiser.

Hope we all make this a great success and help our friend Lakshmi.

The target amount is 15,000 U.S. dollars. I appeal to my fellow bloggers and readers to help Srivalli achieve this. Lakshmi deserves a chance to live and her kids deserve their mother.

You can chip in directly from my blog too from the chip in widget below or from the one placed in my side bar. Thanks for your support and help.

Homemade Delicious Eggless Chocolate Chip Cookies

Kids go wild when they see cookies, especially chocolate chip cookies. Why kids, even adults can't control their appetite for chocolate chip cookies. This type of cookies is very famous in the United states and is often baked in most of the homes here. I bet there will be no parties without these chocolate chip cookies! They are so scrumptious and have such a great aroma and texture to them. When I started my baby steps in baking, I wanted to bake this cookie and throw a party at my place, just to brag about my cookies. One good thing that has happened to me in the US is, I am able to try out new things with my oven, which otherwise would have been just a dream.

With all the enthusiasm a amateur baker would have, I started to prepare the dough for these cookies after deciding the recipe. I did browse through a lot of chocolate chip cookie recipe and finally decided on one. But, when I searched for the ingredients in my kitchen cupboard, I was in short of few. The original recipe had Brown sugar, eggs, Maple syrup. But I had only powdered white sugar and chocolate syrup. I wanted to bake these cookies very badly that I decided to take the risk of making the variation. I was a bit skeptical because these are my first batch of chocolate chip cookies ever made. Now coming to this baby baker's recipe of Eggless chocolate chip cookies.

1 cup of All purpose flour
1 cup of powdered white sugar
1 cup of butter/ghee
1/4 cup of chocolate chips
1 tbspn chocolate syrup
1/2 tsp of baking powder
1tsp vanilla essence


Preheat the oven at 350 degree F for 10min.

Meanwhile, prepare the cookie dough by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl.

Take a small amount of cookie dough and press it to make it in any shape of cookie you want.

Place it in the cookie tray and bake it for 10-11 min at 350 degree F.

Check if the inside is baked with the help of a fork.

Allow it to cool for 5 -8 min. With the help of spatula remove the cookies and store it in an air tight container.

Note: I refrigerated it for 5 min before serving. It helps the cookies to be soft at the same time crispy.

Here is a recipe for Vegan Chocolate chip cookies. I liked the fact that this recipe did not use any of animal products. Hope you like this version too.


Eat Healthy - CALCIUM Rich Contest

I am really thankful to all the foodies who participated and supported the Eat healthy- Protein rich contest. You can find the event round up details following the link. This time it is 'Calcium' and the rules are different.

CALCIUM - It is a Chemical element with atomic number 20. Wow! Don't you guys get reminded of our school days where we have to memorize the Atomic Table for our chemistry exams? hmm...memories....ok coming back to calcium. Calcium is essential for the normal growth and maintenance of bones and teeth, and calcium requirements must be met throughout life. Long-term calcium deficiency can lead to rickets and poor blood clotting and in case of a menopausal woman, it can lead to osteoporosis, in which the bone deteriorates and there is an increased risk of fractures. While a lifelong deficit can affect bone and tooth formation, over-retention can cause hyperclycemia (elevated levels of calcium in the blood), impaired kidney function and decreased absorption of other minerals.High calcium intakes or high calcium absorption were previously thought to contribute to the development of kidney stones. However, more recent studies show that high dietary calcium intakes actually decrease the risk for kidney stones. Vitamin D is needed to absorb calcium.

Though we have all the calcium supplement tablets, it is good to include Calcium in our daily diet for preventing a lot of complication in our later life. Especially women need more calcium for functioning properly in their later part of life. You know why. It is because women during pregnancy need a lot of calcium to support the bone growth of the child.

There are a lot of Calcium rich food. Here are a few, for you to use them in your recipe. These are just suggestions and you can use any calcium rich ingredient in your recipe.

-Yogurt, plain
-Yogurt, fruit
-Milk, low fat or nonfat
-Milk, whole
-Cheese, including American, ricotta, cheddar cheese and mozzarella cheese
-Milk shakes

Non Diary products with calcium:

Salmon ,Tofu ,Rhubarb ,Sardines ,Collard greens ,Spinach ,Turnip greens ,Okra ,White ,eans ,Baked beans ,Broccoli ,Peas ,Brussel sprouts ,Sesame ,eeds ,Bok choy ,Almonds.

Consume Calcium effectively:

1. Take Calcium sources throughout the day instead of all at one time. The body can absorb about 500 mg of calcium at one time from food and/or calcium supplements.

2.There are 52 mg of calcium in one tablespoon of dry milk, so add it to baked goods, puddings, soups and cereals often to increase their calcium content. Two to four tablespoons can be added to most recipes

3.Top baked potatoes with plain non-fat yogurt, which is similar to sour cream in flavor and adds a lot of calcium

4.Try to get all or most of your calcium from your diet rather than from supplements.

5.Use food labels to identify good sources of calcium and vitamin D.

How to read from a Food Label

This is probably a very frequent question asked by many people. It is really easy to read a food label. For example, if a food label reads that the food consists of 20% calcium, then it means it has 200mg of calcium per serving.

To know more about Calcium visit Wiki, to get information about Calcium Rich food visit Home and Garden.

Click here to get The Blog Profits Blueprint

Now coming to the rules,

This event starts from Aug 15, 2008 and will be till Midnight,CST of Sep 24, 2008.The voting will start from Sep 25,2008 and will run till Sep 29,2008. The winners will be announced on Sep 30th,2008.

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 Calcium 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.

2. No need to send the picture, I will take it from your blog.

3. Subscribe to my blog via E-mail. - This is a must for Competing for Prize1. I am asking you all to subscribe because, last time, a lot of the participants missed the mega round up and missed the chance of voting for their favourite recipes. This time I feel it could be prevented by making the subscription.

4. Send me your
“Recipe URL”
"E-mail Id you used to subscribe"

to : i.e. letusallcook(AT)gmail(DOT)com with the subject as Eat healthy - CALCIUM Rich.

5. You can send any number of entries. The more you send, the more chances of winning.

6. For Competing Prize 3 :Refer your friend to subscribe to my blog. Your friend need not have a blog, after subscribing, just ask your friend to send me a mail to stating that 'You' referred him/her and their mail id which they used to subscribe. For every friend you refer, you get an extra chance to win the top 10 spots.

Your friend can refer their friends too, by doing so they too get a chance in winning a prize. Same rules, for each person they refer, they get an extra chance to win the prize. Just ask them to mail me with the details mentioned above.

7.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. Your recipe will also be counted for winning the prize 1.

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

Optional but would recommend:

1. I would greatly appreciate if you add this logo linking to this event in your side bar AND/OR blog about this contest so that the event will be known to more people and will become a great success.

2. Add my blog as your favourite in Technorati.

3. Do add my blog in your blogroll and let me know. I want to add yours too.

This time we have

PRIZE 1: This winner will be chosen by voting. I will be using Randomizer to select 10 recipes and the winning recipe will be selected by voting. So, the more number of entries you send the more chance to win the top 10 spots. Each entry is 1 point i.e if you send 2 entries, you will have twice the chance of winning. The Prize is $20 gift card.

PRIZE 2: The person with maximum number of entries, in addition of getting more chances to get the top 10 spot will also get a special prize of getting featured in my blog for a month. This is truly to appreciate their contribution.

PRIZE 3: The person who refers more number of friends will get a special prize. This person need not have a blog. Just have to refer friends to subscribe to my blog. The winner will get a Prize worth $15.

As of now there are 3 Prizes but, if I get any sponsor, I will surely add more prizes. I am working with people out there to get this contest sponsored. However, if you want to sponsor or know someone who can sponsor this event do contact me at Your participation is highly appreciated.

Hope to see more entries this time and looking forward to your support to make this a great fun filled event.

Do take a look at the previous EH contest details, the roundups and the winners.

Do contact me if you have any queries regarding this contest and the prizes.

Food Blogging Tips to increase traffic

I have been thinking. We, foodies put a lot of effort in maintaining our blog. What if we do not get the deserved appreciation? What if all our efforts are going waste? Every blogger is blogging with a hope that more people read his/her blog. What if there are only few readers? Of course you will have your friends and relatives to read your blog. But is the reach enough? I was browsing through the Internet for some traffic tips to increase my blog traffic and came across this article written by Australian Entrepreneur Yaro. Great Article and tips. Thought it will be very useful for each one of us, as we all deserve to get more from our blogs. After all, we rock the foodie world. Don't we?

I personally recommend his Free Blog Profits Blueprint Report. Do have a look at it. We lose nothing , Yes! It is free! Click here to download the Blog Profits Blueprint

Here is a free video training information shared by Yaro with us.

Free Video training

Here is the article for you to read and get benefited.

In every bloggers life comes a special day - the day they first launch a new blog. Now unless you went out and purchased someone else''s blog chances are your blog launched with only one very loyal reader - you. Maybe a few days later you received a few hits when you told your sister, father, girlfriend and best friend about your new blog but that''s about as far you went when it comes to finding readers.

Here are the top 10 techniques new bloggers can use to find readers. These are tips specifically for new bloggers, those people who have next-to-no audience at the moment and want to get the ball rolling.

It helps if you work on this list from top to bottom as each technique builds on the previous step to help you create momentum. Eventually once you establish enough momentum you gain what is called "traction", which is a large enough audience base (about 500 readers a day is good) that you no longer have to work too hard on finding new readers. Instead your current loyal readers do the work for you through word of mouth.

Top 10 Tips

10. Write at least five major "pillar" articles. A pillar article is a tutorial style article aimed to teach your audience something. Generally they are longer than 500 words and have lots of very practical tips or advice. This article you are currently reading could be considered a pillar article since it is very practical and a good "how-to" lesson. This style of article has long term appeal, stays current (it isn’t news or time dependent) and offers real value and insight. The more pillars you have on your blog the better.

9. Write one new blog post per day minimum. Not every post has to be a pillar, but you should work on getting those five pillars done at the same time as you keep your blog fresh with a daily news or short article style post. The important thing here is to demonstrate to first time visitors that your blog is updated all the time so they feel that if they come back tomorrow they will likely find something new. This causes them to bookmark your site or subscribe to your blog feed.

You don''t have to produce one post per day all the time but it is important you do when your blog is brand new. Once you get traction you still need to keep the fresh content coming but your loyal audience will be more forgiving if you slow down to a few per week instead. The first few months are critical so the more content you can produce at this time the better.

8. Use a proper domain name. If you are serious about blogging be serious about what you call your blog. In order for people to easily spread the word about your blog you need a easily rememberable domain name. People often talk about blogs they like when they are speaking to friends in the real world (that''s the offline world, you remember that place right?) so you need to make it easy for them to spread the word and pass on your URL. Try and get a .com if you can and focus on small easy to remember domains rather than worry about having the correct keywords (of course if you can get great keywords and easy to remember then you’ve done a good job!).

7. Start commenting on other blogs. Once you have your pillar articles and your daily fresh smaller articles your blog is ready to be exposed to the world. One of the best ways to find the right type of reader for your blog is to comment on other people’s blogs. You should aim to comment on blogs focused on a similar niche topic to yours since the readers there will be more likely to be interested in your blog.

Most blog commenting systems allow you to have your name/title linked to your blog when you leave a comment. This is how people find your blog. If you are a prolific commentor and always have something valuable to say then people will be interested to read more of your work and hence click through to visit your blog.

6. Trackback and link to other blogs in your blog posts. A trackback is sort of like a blog conversation. When you write a new article to your blog and it links or references another blogger''s article you can do a trackback to their entry. What this does is leave a truncated summary of your blog post on their blog entry - it''s sort of like your blog telling someone else’s blog that you wrote an article mentioning them. Trackbacks often appear like comments.

This is a good technique because like leaving comments a trackback leaves a link from another blog back to yours for readers to follow, but it also does something very important - it gets the attention of another blogger. The other blogger will likely come and read your post eager to see what you wrote about them. They may then become a loyal reader of yours or at least monitor you and if you are lucky some time down the road they may do a post linking to your blog bringing in more new readers.

5. Encourage comments on your own blog. One of the most powerful ways to convince someone to become a loyal reader is to show there are other loyal readers already following your work. If they see people commenting on your blog then they infer that your content must be good since you have readers so they should stick around and see what all the fuss is about. To encourage comments you can simply pose a question in a blog post. Be sure to always respond to comments as well so you can keep the conversation going.

4. Submit your latest pillar article to a blog carnival. A blog carnival is a post in a blog that summarizes a collection of articles from many different blogs on a specific topic. The idea is to collect some of the best content on a topic in a given week. Often many other blogs link back to a carnival host and as such the people that have articles featured in the carnival often enjoy a spike in new readers.

To find the right blog carnival for your blog, do a search at

3. Submit your blog to To be honest this tip is not going to bring in a flood of new readers but it''s so easy to do and only takes five minutes so it''s worth the effort. Go to Blog Top Sites, find the appropriate category for your blog and submit it. You have to copy and paste a couple of lines of code on to your blog so you can rank and then sit back and watch the traffic come in. You will probably only get 1-10 incoming readers per day with this technique but over time it can build up as you climb the rankings. It all helps!

2. Submit your articles to This is another tip that doesn’t bring in hundreds of new visitors immediately (although it can if you keep doing it) but it''s worthwhile because you simply leverage what you already have - your pillar articles. Once a week or so take one of your pillar articles and submit it to Ezine Articles. Your article then becomes available to other people who can republish your article on their website or in their newsletter.

How you benefit is through what is called your "Resource Box". You create your own resource box which is like a signature file where you include one to two sentences and link back to your website (or blog in this case). Anyone who publishes your article has to include your resource box so you get incoming links. If someone with a large newsletter publishes your article you can get a lot of new readers at once.

1. Write more pillar articles. Everything you do above will help you to find blog readers however all of the techniques I’ve listed only work when you have strong pillars in place. Without them if you do everything above you may bring in readers but they won’t stay or bother to come back. Aim for one solid pillar article per week and by the end of the year you will have a database of over 50 fantastic feature articles that will work hard for you to bring in more and more readers.

I hope you enjoyed my list of traffic tips. Everything listed above are techniques I’ve put into place myself for my blogs and have worked for me, however it''s certainly not a comprehensive list. There are many more things you can do. Finding readers is all about testing to see what works best for you and your audience and I have no doubt if you put your mind to it you will find a balance that works for you.

This article was by Yaro Starak, a professional blogger. He is the leader of the Blog Mastermind mentoring program designed to teach bloggers how to earn a full time income blogging part time.

To get more information about Blog Mastermind click this link:


Here they come again!

There are a lot of food events taking place around the world online. Food events makes us feel we are important. Contributing to a food event is not that easy. You have to prepare something with love. Hope everyone will agree with that. For me, Food events have made my life more exciting, interesting and what not. When ever I come across a food event I start to think what I can prepare for that event. what I get in return? - Joy of participation, one more recipe to my blog and of course appreciation from my husband for trying out new recipes.

Here they come again - I am re posting few of my early posts so that they can enter food events. First event is Curry Mela. This Mela series is rocking. Loved the Roti and Dosa mela and now its curry. After the round up we will all be getting a huge number of side dishes and its going to make our life easy.

Now coming to AFAM - Lemon by EC.

Lemon Rice

And my Jeera rice/Cumin rice for Think Spice- your favourite. I am thinking cumin!

Jeera/Cumin Rice


Featured Blog of the Month - Aug '08

This is the first time I am featuring any blog in mine. When I was thinking what I can do to encourage our fellow bloggers, this is the first idea that came to my mind. Each foodie is special in their own way. Working hard to keep the blog running, taking eye catching pictures - A life of a food blogger is more busy than what we think. I conducted an Eat Healthy - Protein Rich Contest in my blog and the blog with the most entries to that contest will be honoured and featured in my blog. This is done just as a token of appreciation.

My first winner is Srilekha of Sriskitchen. She was so kind and sent a total of 27 entries to the contest. She deserves more than this. I am happy to share some facts about our winner.

Srilekha, being an Indian, is from the "Temple City",Madurai, Tamilnadu. She has completed MCA and was working for a concern. After marriage she quit her job.'I want to enjoy the real beauty of married life', she says with no regret.She is a mom of a 1 yr and 11 months old son Amiitesh and a full time home maker.

When asked ' How did your blog come to life?', she answers with a smile,'when I feel very bored and depressed to be at home round the clock, my hubby recommended me to prepare a blog about something which I love more and I don't know anything about blog at that time and now I have lot of friends in blogosphere and I chat with them. so my hubby inspired me a lot to start with this cooking blog!

Now I too have launched an event and i have 200 posts in my blog and my blog is just about 5 months old but visitors count has hit about 11000 and more.'
Great going srilekha. Our best wishes for your success.

Now coming to the rapid fire questions,

Hobby: I like to listen to melody songs , go for shopping and play with my son. Cooking is my passion!

Inspiration: My mom is my inspiration for cooking. Without my mom, am nothing. I learnt cooking from her. All the recipes in my blog are all iwhat I learnt from her.
Favourite Place: I love nature and hill stations
Favorite color: sky blue and baby pink
Favorite food item: chilly paratha and chilly idli
Favourite Music: Currently enjoying AR Rahman's music but can't forget all the melody hits of Ilayaraja.
Goal: I want to go for a job soon and achieve something in my field
Good luck with it dear srilekha!
Advice/Suggestions to new blogger: Do your jobs with utmost interest and dedication and surely you people will rock one day!

Now coming to the 27 entries she sent for Protein rich event.

Keerai Poriyal by Me and My Kitchen
Keerai kootu by Me and My Kitchen
Keerai Saaru by Me and My Kitchen
Parupu urundai kozhambhu by Me and My Kitchen
Broad beans kozhambhu by Me and My Kitchen
Broad Beans Poriyal by Me and My Kitchen
Raddish Kozhambhu by Me and My Kitchen
Raddish sambhar by Me and My Kitchen
Cauliflower 65 by Me and My Kitchen
Broken Egg Kozhambhu by Me and My Kitchen
passiparupu sambhar by Me and My Kitchen
Rawa Upma by Me and My Kitchen
Sweet puri by Me and My Kitchen
Masala pori by Me and My Kitchen
Aamavadai by Me and My Kitchen
Whole black gram and coconut kozhambhu by Me and My Kitchen
cauliflower kozhambhu by Me and My Kitchen
Green Peas Pulao by Me and My Kitchen
Keera kozhambhu by Me and My Kitchen
Curd Rice by Me and My Kitchen
Chicken Briyani by Me and My Kitchen
Bread Upma by Me and My Kitchen
Chicken Chukka by Me and My Kitchen
Chicken Chalna by Me and My Kitchen
Peeper Chicken by Me and My Kitchen
Chicken Kozhambu by Me and My Kitchen
Chickpeas sundal by Me and My Kitchen
Vegetable Sambhar by Me and My Kitchen
Soy Beans Curry by Me and My Kitchen

This blog will be featured for a month. Hope you all give support to both my blog and srilekha's blog.