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.

What is RSS?



Homemade Guacamole - An Avocado Dip recipe

To be very frank with you, I didn't know about Guacamole until I started eating at Chipotle, especially the Burrito Bol. Even then, I thought it is some Mexican chutney like recipe. Ignorant me! Only recently when I was searching for this recipe, I came to know that it is made with Avocado. oh! our own little Avocado!

Guacamole with Tortilla

Avocado has a lot of health benefits. I have read so many books emphasizing on how nutritious and healthy Avocado is. So why not try Guacamole at home?, seems to be easy.I made this day before yesterday during snack time to go with my Tortillas. Man, it was awesome.


1 medium size ripe Avocado
1/4 cup finely chopped onions
1 tsp lemon juice
salt to taste


Peel the Avocado and mash it with a fork.

Add the onions. lemon juice and salt and mix well.

Use this dip as soon as possible as it will get darker after some time.


Halloween Party Celebrations 2008!

I must say this time I am very determined to get involved in the Halloween celebrations in my neighborhood. Last year, I was new to this whole Halloween concept. I was more of an audience than a participant. Mainly because I was not invited to any Halloween Party! This time it is going to be different as one of my friends have invited me to their Halloween party!

Halloween 2008

Photo by: euart

So to prepare myself for the party, I had to do some research on Halloween traditions, history and also on some of the Halloween recipes. I am invited to help in the Halloween party decorations too! I am really excited! I have been trying out some crochet Halloween crafts for kids and I hope it will be useful. I made a Boo bookmark, A candy holder and Crochet Spider.

As for the Halloween recipes, it was more a Halloween Baking.I must say how I failed miserably baking my first monster cookie. I know most of them had a great laugh after seeing my cookie picture. My Broomstick cookie turned into a table tennis cookie and my monster cookie turned into a funny bunny cookie! Try, Try, Try, till you succeed and I did try! With a lot of perseverance I made the

Quick and Easy Monster Sandwich

Ghost Cupcakes- A Halloween Dessert Recipe

Monster Cupcake - Another Halloween Dessert recipe

Crochet Spider crawling to its cupcake web!- Halloween Special

Quick and Easy Beetroot Salad

Broomstick Cookies

I am making all these recipes as part of the Halloween party menu and I am going to scare people to death! Ha! I know it comes naturally to me! Happy and safe Halloween to all the kids out there who are all excited about the Trick or treats! and their parents who have shown their creative side in figuring out the Halloween costumes for their kids, this year! Need more ideas for this Halloween? Check this you will be surprised.

Before I end this post, if you are hosting a party or going to be a part of one, I am pretty sure that you are going to take pictures. Recently I came across this great tips for taking Halloween pictures and thought it would surely be useful. Boo your crowd!


Do let us know what your this year's Halloween plans are. What costume are you going to wear? Are you hosting a Halloween Party?


Foodie Chat - Dine and Dish says Kristen!

Recently I got introduced to Kristen, the owner of Dine and Dish, a Food and recipe Blog. She has a great collection of recipes and the one thing that caught my eye is the Adopt a Blogger program that she started. To know more read on.

When and Why did you start a blog?

I started blogging November of 2006. My parents had just moved to the Southern tip of Texas and I knew we would be able to keep in touch as often as I would like. With three young grandchildren, I knew it was important for my parents to be able to stay in the loop with what they were up to, so I started a family blog. At the same time, I started a food blog.

Have you cooked Indian recipes?What do you think about Indian Cuisine?

I have never cooked Indian recipes. We have some good friends who cook Indian food for us quite often though and I love it!

Why did you choose Food as your topic to blog?

I try to make my blog about more than just food. Food is one of the cornerstones of our life, but beyond the food is always a story. I figured I could wrap so many things up in a food blog!

Which Cuisine you specialize in?

I don't really specialize in a cuisine... just whatever I feel like cooking! Most of my recipes are family friendly.

In a day, how many hours you spend blogging?

I am trying to cut this down by quite a bit because blogging tends to grab a hold of me and before I know it too much time has gone by. I am limiting myself to 2 hours or less a day for blogging related activities.

Do you have any other hobbies other than blogging?

Well, cooking is a big hobby. Reading, traveling, photography are a couple of other hobbies.

What do you feel about blogging becoming a career?

Wouldn't that be a dream? I have received several paid gigs through my blog, which is fantastic. Most of them involve food and writing, so of course I'm thrilled with that. It is nice to make money from doing something that you love!

Do you see any change in your blogging habits?

I am paring back on blogging some and am only going to be posting a couple of times per week instead of more often than that.

Where do you see your blog 1 year from now?

I see it about the same as it is now. I hope that I continue to get freelance opportunities and review opportunities and that I continue to entertain my readers. More importantly, I hope that I am able to stay true to myself and to remember my real reason for blogging!

Give us some tips to balance blogging and our life.

Bloggers can put a lot of stress upon themselves to keep up with the more popular blogs. Always remember why you are blogging. Comments and high visitor stats are great, but if blogging takes over your life because you are trying to outdo yourself, you will get burnt out and your purpose for blogging won't be fulfilled. Stay true to yourself, limit the time you spend on the computer, and make sure you continue to have fun!

What advice do you give to the new comers?

Get into a blogging schedule that is comfortable for your life. Don't feel pressured to write everyday. Find your own voice and make sure to write about something you are passionate about.

Do you have anyother blogs other than the food blog?

I have a family blog

What do you feel about recent copyright issues?

I think it is very important to always credit the source. Always. If you want to use someone's photo, ask permission before you post the photo on your blog.

Do you have any experience like this before? Any advice?(reg copyright issues)

Have had no issues!

Your photography secrets and tips -

Instead of giving you my secrets and tips (because I really don't have many!) I'd like to direct you to this fantastic post about food photography from Vegan Yum Yum

Tell us about Adopt a blogger event. I was really impressed and sad though, that I couldn't be a part this time.

Adopt a Blogger was something I started to help new bloggers find their way in the blogging world. I love the buddy system and mentoring programs. Adopt a Blogger gives new bloggers the chance to be mentored by more experienced bloggers. I am really excited about how well this concept has been received!

More about your hobbies,interests

I love to cook, obviously! I love to travel... by car, boat, plane. I enjoy seeing America, stopping at small roadside cafes, etc. I enjoy reading, photography, family and girls nights out with other moms.

You are a regular reader of ....

USA Today, People Magazine, Coastal Living, Real Simple and tons of cooking magazines

Your favorite food blogs, other blogs -

I honestly can't single out any because I love so many. Two blogs that inspired me in the beginning and I still love today are French Kitchen in America ( and The Whistlestop Cafe (

How do you keep in touch with your fellow bloggers, do you use social sites?

Twitter is the only social networking site that I regularly use. I keep in touch with fellow bloggers by visiting and reading their blogs and responding to comments left on my site.

How are the social sites playing their part in blogging .

It is so interesting to see how many more bloggers I know now through Twitter alone. It is fun to network with people with same interests.

How blogging has changed your life?

It has re-awakened my love for writing. I've met so many new people and have been reconnected with people who I've lost contact with.

Who/what is your inspiration?

My mom is definitely my inspiration!

Do you host your blog in your own domain? what blog hosts you suggest for a new blogger/experienced blogger.
I use WebEx Hosting ( and highly recommend them!

How do you cope up with the technical requirements for being a blogger

I think blogging has really made me want to learn more about technology. I do get frustrated about my lack of design experience. I wish I could do it all myself, but sometimes it is best to hire professionals to take over what you can't. It costs money, but saves on my frustration level down the road.

If people want to contact you through social media, are you available?

I am - is my email. Twitter, Stumbleupon are both dineanddish

Your achievements as far as blogging is concerned so far.

I think the increase in the number of freelance writing gigs I have received is my biggest achievement. Last year, my blog was nominated and in the top five for the Well Fed Networks blog awards in the Family Friendly category. That was pretty exciting :)

Have you been to my site before?Do you have any comments for me?

I have been and I think you are doing a great job! I especially love the calcium rich focus.

Wow! Isn't it a great interview. I really enjoyed reading myself,especially the Photography tips.

I take this opportunity to Thank Kristen for her lovely interview, despite her busy schedule. Being a mom of 3, she is really busy!

I appreciate your comments and suggestions for future interviews. If you want anyone to be interviewed for this series, please let me know.

Don’t miss the interview series. Do subscribe in a READER

OR via EMAIL to my blog!

Checkout the previous foodie chats.

How to make Authentic South Indian Sambhar powder

Sambhar is a very common side dish when it comes to South Indian cooking. It is very easy to prepare too. I have tasted Sambhar in different places and all tastes differently. The main process of preparing the Sambhar is the same, then how come this difference in taste? It is because of the Sambhar Powder that they use in their recipe.

Sambhar Powder

Each family has its own way of preparing Sambhar powder. This is the main ingredient that gives the flavor to the recipe. I would like to share my family recipe for preparing this Sambhar powder.


100g Dry Red Chilli

250g Coriander seeds (Dhaniya)

25g Whole black peppercorns

25g Cumin Seeds

1 tsp Fenugreek seeds

2 strands of Curry leaves

2 tsp Hing Powder

1/2 cup puffed rice (Pori in Tamil)

Sambhar Powder


In a pan, fry the puffed rice till light brown. Allow it to cool.

In a separate pan, add all the ingredients except the puffed rice and fry till they turn light brown and you get the aroma.

Allow it to cool and blend it in a mixer/blender into a very smooth powder.

Generally in India, there are places, where they have huge machines to grind these into powder. This results in a very smooth powder. If we do it at home, we have to make sure that it is grind to a very fine powder.


It is suggested to prepare the sambhar powder in small quantity so that the flavor is not lost.

You can store this powder for a month without losing its flavor.

Each family has its own way of preparing this Sambhar Powder, Do you follow a different method? Please share it with us.


How to make Medhu vada

I love anything that is deep fried. I am not a health freak! I love to eat Junk food especially when it is tasty. Medhu Vada is one such recipe. Every South Indian function will definitely have this recipe as a starter. You can do many variations to this recipe and all tastes scrumptious. I am not sure if you can bake this Medhu Vada? hmm have to try it sometime. If you know, do let me know.

I made this Medhu vada for Diwali. Usually I do it a different way, but this time I followed different method.

Ingredients: (For 8 to 10 vadas)

1 cup Urad dal
1 green chilli, finely chopped
1 tsp crushed pepper
1 tsp cumin seeds
salt to taste
small coconut chunks (optional)
Few Curry Leaves


Soak the Urad dal for 4-5 hours. The more you soak the more softer and lighter the vadas will be.

Grind it into a smooth paste with adding very little (2 tsp) of water and salt. As it is soaked for a longer time, the dal itself will have moisture in it, so no need to add any extra water.

Add the chopped green chilli, crushed pepper, coconut chunks,chopped curry leaves and mix well.

In a pan, add oil and deep fry these by taking a small amount in hand and making a small hole in the center.

If the dough sticks in your hand just wet you hands before making the vadas.

Deep fry them for a minute and serve hot with Chutney, Sambhar or even eat them without any accompaniment.

Authentic Chetinad Pepper Chicken Curry Recipe

ok, now you may wonder what is this girl doing with non-vegetarian cooking? oh! has she shifted to non-veg? and especially if my parents are reading this, I might get a phone call immediately. Because I am vegetarian, not vegan though. I neither cook non-vegetarian nor eat. So how is this recipe? All credits goes to my husband.

Pathetic!, you might think. But he has no other option. His mom is not near us to cook for him. So only way is to either eat outside or self cook. After coming to a conclusion that eating outside is not affordable, my husband has decided to cook himself. Here he is sharing his recipe for the Authentic Chetinad pepper Chicken Curry recipe.

I really don't know how it tastes. But, after coming to know that he followed the recipe from Vahrehvah, I am pretty sure that it would have tasted awesome. I am a great fan of Sanjay, the Vah chef and I take this opportunity to thank him for making my husband cook.


2 whole cardamom
250 grams chicken (wash, clean and cut the chicken)
2 cinnamon sticks
2 Bayleaves
3-4 cloves
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp crushed pepper corns
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp cumin powder
Few curry leaves
few fresh chopped coriander
2 tsp ginger garlic paste
3 green chillies,chopped
1 tsp mustard
2-3 tsp oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 tsp red chilli powder
salt to taste
3/4 cup tomatoes


Heat the oil in a large pan.

Add mustard seeds, when it pops add cumin seeds and whole garam masala (cardamom,cloves,cinnamon, bay leaves).

Add the onions, salt and saute till onions are light brown.

Now add turmeric, ginger garlic paste curry leaves, and green chilli.

Add tomatoes and mix well.

Now, add the chilli powder, coriander powder and cumin powder mix well.

Cook for 10 min in a medium flame till the tomatoes are cooked well.

When the oil oozes out, add the chicken to the frying pan and mix well.

Cover and cook over a low-medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked.

Add the ground pepper into the mixture and mix well.

Serve hot as side dish to chapati, Dosa or any Rice varieties.


This is a highly spicy recipe. So be sure to lower your spices according to your taste.

Do not add water throughout the entire process.


Sevai prepared from leftover Idiyapam

Last weekend I tried Idiyappam, whose recipe I posted very recently. The thing is, with over enthusiasm I prepared more than what we required for our dinner. he!he! sometimes, no! no! most of the time I prepare in huge quantities not because I am lazy (so that I can use the leftovers for later), but I am used to it. I was in a joint family in India. Totally we were 6 people of different taste, especially when it comes to food, under the same roof.

Everyday me, my MIL and my co-sister prepare Lunch and dinner. Usually it will be in large quantities. Now you know why I tend to prepare in large quantities. Anyways cooking for two is much better than cooking and eating by yourself. Of course there is an exception if it is your favorite recipe.

Idiyappam/Sevai Upma

Coming to what I did with this leftover Idiyappam. I prepared Sevai or Iddiyappam upma or however you call it. Very simple and quick recipe. This is similar to Semiya(Vermicelli) Upma.


1 cup Idiyappam (Rice Noodles) - Check out how to prepare Idiyappam.
1 tsp urad dal
1 tsp channa dal
1 tsp mustard
A pinch of Hing
1/2 cup lengthwise chopped onion
2 green chillies, chopped lengthwise
salt to taste
2 tsp oil
2 tsp lemon juice.

Idiyappam/Sevai Upma


In a pan, add oil, mustard seeds. When it pops add hing, urad and channa dal and saute.

Now add the green chillies and onions and saute till light brown.

Add salt.

Add the leftover Idiyappam or freshly prepared rice noodles and mix well.

Since Idiyappam is already cooked, just mix well and switch off the stove.

Add lemon juice and serve hot with Chutney/Dip.

Idiyappam (Rice Noodles) Recipe

For me, if it is Idiyappam, it is always Thenga pal (coconut Milk). I love this combo. It is a very famous Indian breakfast/Dinner recipe, a kerala recipe to be specific. Any Indian hotel will have this in their menu card. You can also eat this Idiyappam with Kurma (vegetable or chicken). As this is also a steamed dish like Idly, it is very healthy. This is one of the simplest recipe I have ever learnt. Very easy preparation and cooks within minutes.

Idiyappam recipe

You need a presser for making this Idiyappam. You can get this in any Indian shop which sells vessels. Wiki says, It is also called noolappam or noolputtu from the Malayalam word for string, nool, but is most commonly know as Idiyappam or String Hoppers.

Ingredients: (To serve 2)

1 cup of rice flour
salt to taste
warm water to knead
1 tsp of oil


Mix rice flour with required warm water and salt.

Knead into smooth dough, like chapati dough. Apply little oil over the dough and insert into the cooking press. I used the below presser.

Idiyappam maker

Put a small quantity of dough into the presser and press it on the idly moulds greased with oil. Below is a picture of Idly mould.

Idly moulds

Steam the idly cooker for 8-10 minutes.

Serve hot with coconut milk or Kurma.


How to cut a Pineapple? - A step by step video

Always it has been a problem for me to cut a whole pineapple. Most of the time I either end up cutting my finger or wasting the fruit. Recently I learnt a new easy and quick method to cut pineapple and thought I would share with you all. Check out and let me know if this method is easy for you.

Wish You all a very Happy and Safe Diwali

I take this opportunity to wish all my friends, readers a very happy and safe Diwali. Have a Blast! Be safe when you burst your crackers. Enjoy! Do share your pictures with us, as I am not allowed to burst crackers in the US :( .



Podi Uthapam Recipe

Uthappam/Oothappam however you call it, is my favorite. Whenever I go to Saravana Bhavan restaurant near my place, I order this. The Uthappams are similar to dosas excepting that they are thick. There are many variations to this recipe. Plain Uthappam, Tomato and Onion Uthappam, Mixed Vegetable Uthapams etc. The Uthappam is also called Indian Pizza or pancakes.

When I was preparing these the other day, my intention was to make the vegetable version. However, my husband wanted to eat these Podi uthappams and so I did a few quick ones. Podi is a Tamil word for powder. In this context it is referring chilli powder (Milagai Podi). You can also make these with vegetables.These pictures were taken in a hurry, so ...


Dosa Batter
1 cup Milagai podi or Idly podi
few tsp of oil

How to make these Podi Uthappams?

For this first you have to make the Dosa Batter as explained in this making of Dosa/Idly batter video.

For Uthappams make the batter little thick.

Spread the dough on the Tawa as shown in the above picture. Make sure that they are not crispy and they are thick.

Sprinkle the Idly podi or the Milagai podi on top and a tsp of oil.

Cook in a sim flame as we will be cooking only one side.

Serve hot.

As we are cooking only one side, either close the Uthappams with a vessel so that the other side is cooked or cook it in a sim flame.

You can serve these with chutney/dip.

To prepare,

Tomato and onion uthappam - same procedure use these vegetables on the dough and cook one side. (The above pic is taken when I was preparing these)

Vegetable Uthappam - Same procedure, use your favorite vegies.


Authentic SouthIndian Sweet - Palgova/Therattipal recipe

I still remember. When I was in my schooldays, my father used to buy this Palgova from the sweet store for any family festival/get together. It is the one sweet which I go glutton for. Being an only child I had never had the problem of sharing. Everything is for me. Pampered and spoiled!

For this Diwali how can I ever forget this famous sweet? I prepared it yesterday and this time I had to share it with my husband. Ha! that too I gave him only few spoons and rest is mine..mwuahhh(witch's laugh).I am sending this and my other Diwali sweets and snacks to Pallavi's YFF - Diwali.

Before sharing the recipe of this sweet, I would like to share some tips.

- If you are in India use the normal milk that you get. If in the US use whole milk or Vitamin D milk. The milk must be thick for this sweet to be at its best.

- Stand with the milk when boiling, else ...oh! you don't want to know. All will be in a mess.

- Do this sweet when you are free. It will take atleast 1 hour and if you hurry up you will not get the required result.

- If you use Jaggery instead of sugar it is called Therattipal.


3 cups whole Milk
3/4 cup of sugar
1 tbsp of Ghee/Clarified Butter
2 tsp of Lime juice


In a pan, boil the milk till it reduces to half. It will take some time (around 20- 30 mts). Your patience is appreciated.

Keep stirring regularly.

Now add the lime juice to make the milk separate.

Again keep stirring till most of the water is evaporated and it is semi-solid. This will take another 15 min.

Now add the sugar and ghee mix well for 10 min and remove it.

Cool it and serve. You can refrigerate it too but only thing is it will solidify a little bit when you refrigerate it. So you have to bring it to the room temperature before serving.

Guess what? You have just prepared the Authentic Palgova recipe traditionally at home! Kuddos to you!

Do check out my other Diwali sweets and snacks recipes.


Foodie Chat - Whats cooking?, asks Ben!

One of the Food blogers who caught my attention was Ben from WhatsCooking. I stumbled his site through Leftover queen's forum. He has a very good collection of Mexican recipes and most of the time he cracks me up with his writing. Here he is sharing his views with us.

When and Why did you start a blog?

I've had a personal blog for several years now and I've met some amazing people through that. Every once in a while I would post recipes on that blog until one friend suggested I started a food blog. I started What's Cooking in the summer of 2007 and has been one of the best experiences I've had.

Have you cooked Indian recipes?What do you think about Indian Cuisine?

Unfortunately, I haven't cooked any Indian recipes yet. I have eaten Indian food here in the U.S. from places that are "authentic" and others not so much, and I've loved both. I like the use of spices in any kind of cuisine so Indian food is one of my favorites. Of course I would have to try the real deal to have a more accurate opinion.

Why did you choose food as a topic to blog?

I love to cook. I grew up in a small restaurant that belonged to my grandfather and then my parents so I have been around pots and food all my life. Maybe that's why food and I understand each other very well.

Which Cuisine you specialize in?

Mexican cuisine, although I love Italian and American food probably as much.

In a day, how many hours you spend blogging?

I probably spend about 4 hours cooking, taking pictures, editing pictures, writing the post and promoting it in a day. Plus the time I spend visiting and commenting on other blogs. Food blogging is all that! It is hard work, but I love it :)

Do you have any other hobbies other than blogging?

What I like about being a food blogger is it includes other of my favorite hobbies, photography, cooking, reading and meeting interesting people around the world. I also love to read, I try to read 2 or 3 books a week, watching movies and exercise.

What do you feel about blogging becoming a career?

I think it is one of the best ideas since the invention of the Internet!

Do you see any change in your blogging habits?

Yes, I know spend more time in front of the computer! Hahaha, I've also noticed that taking pictures of food and writing recipes has become easier.

Where do you see your blog 1 year from now?

I want to make a living out of it and would love to see myself working on it full time in a year.

Give us some tips to balance blogging and our life.

Just don't overdo it. I work from home and it is easy to spend a lot of time blogging, but I have found that creating a daily schedule of your activities is the best way to manage your time. I dedicate certain hours to do it and if I don't do everything I had planned in that period of time I just stop. My blog is not going anywhere, I can finish what I was doing tomorrow :)

What advice do you give to the new comers?

Be patient. With so many new blogs being creating each day it is hard to be noticed at first. But if you are patient, create a network of friends and, most importantly, have great content, your blog will succeed.

Do you have any other blogs other than the food blog?

Yes, a cooking blog in Spanish, and my personal blog in English and Spanish. I have neglected them lately, but I am planning on spending more time on them.

What do you feel about recent copyright issues?

It frustrates me that free loaders want to make a buck out of our hard work, but fortunately we have tools to fight back and that's what I love about this new virtual world.

Do you have any experience like this before? Any advice?(reg copyright issues)

Fortunately it hasn't happened to me, that I know of. But there are great suggestions on this discussion at the Leftover Queen forum.

Your photography secrets and tips.

Lighting, lighting lighting. Photography captures the light on film, or in the case of digital photography through sensors. Make sure you have enough natural light, you don't want to use your camera's built-in flash. Light must hit the food from all directions, you can use a white piece of carton to reflect the light from different angles. I don't know much about arranging the food for the picture, but lighting for me is the single most important part.

Ok. Tell us how to say 'We love our Food and foodies' in spanish :)

Hmmm, there is no Spanish word for foodie, so I would say Amamos nuestra comida y amigos. :)

More about your hobbies,interests

Hmm did I mention that I love to read? I also have a cat and she takes away many hours of my life.

You are a regular reader of ....

books and newspapers? haha, if you want to know what food blogs I regularly read, the list is close to 100 and I try to read all of them in a regular basis.

Your favourite food blogs, other blogs

This is not a fair question! I read them because there is something I like from them, but if I had to choose only 3 I would say Sass & Veracity, Souvlaki for the Soul and Spanish Recipes.

How do you keep in touch with your fellow bloggers, do you use social sites?

I love twitter. I wish the day had more hours to do more blogging related activities, but at least with twitter I can see what they are doing and doesn't take much time away from me.

How are the social sites playing their part in blogging

They play a big part, I believe. People are going there to find other people with similar interests and if they like what you see on your blog the growth can be exponential.

How blogging has changed your life?

I think it has made me more aware of the world that is around me. Now we can easily see how other people eat and live and that is an amazing thing. Learning new things and meeting new people with different points of view is what keeps life interesting.

Your favourite cooking show, cookbook, cuisine, restaurant, food

Cooking show: Molto Mario.
Cookbook: I don't have a favorite one.
Restaurant: The Cheesecake factory.
Food: Mexican, Italian, American.

Who/what is your inspiration?

My mom, first of all, and the whole food blogosphere.

Do you host your blog in your own domain? what blog hosts you suggest for a new blogger/experienced blogger.

I do. I am with IX Webhost and I haven't had many problems with them. They are fast in addressing problems and concerns and they just moved all their servers to my city. So that is a plus!

How do you cope up with the technical requirements for being a blogger.

With a cup of coffee and a full stomach! Hahaha. Another thing that I love about blogging is that any technical problem that I encounter somebody else has already had it, fix it and post the solution somewhere on the net. Google is my favorite, and a very powerful, tool as a blogger.

If people want to contact you through social media, are you available?

Sure, follow me on twitter "whatscooking" I have a facebook account (which I don't use very often) (is that how you find people there?) or you can visit my forum and post a comment there at

Your achievements as far as blogging is concerned so far.

I think the most important achievement is the marvelous people I've met all over the world. I feel like I am part of a huge and kind worldwide family. Without my readers, the blog would be nothing, right?

Have you been to my site before?Do you have any comments for me?

Yes I have. I would say keep up the good work because there is always something new to learn from your site.

I take this opportunity to Thank Ben for his lovely interview, despite his busy schedule.

I appreciate your comments and suggestions for future interviews. If you want anyone to be interviewed for this series, please let me know.

Don’t miss the interview series. Do subscribe in a READER

OR via EMAIL to my blog!

Checkout the previous foodie chats.

Homemade Diwali Legiyam recipe

One thing I hate during Diwali is Diwali Legiyam. May be because my parents compelled me as a kids to eat it even though it tastes ...hmmm how can I put this? fill it up yourself. Why the hell do we have to eat this? There is a reason.

There is always a reason behind whatever our ancestors say. For Diwali, it is obvious that we will eat a lot of sweets and snacks without giving a thought on how our tummy is going to feel. Tongue gets the more importance here. So taking into account our little stomach, this legiyam (kind of medicine) is prepared.

Homemade Diwali Legiyam

When we eat this in an empty stomach, it helps us in digestion. So, as per the rule, get up early in the morning, take your bath and have a small amount of this Diwali Legiyam and then rush to bust your crackers! I am sending this and my other Diwali sweets and snacks to Pallavi's YFF - Diwali.

How to make Homemade Diwali Legiyam

My parents have always bought this from store. But, I wanted to try it. Mainly because I am not sure whether we get this in the US Indian shops. So here comes the recipe,


Peppercorn - 2 tsps
Cumin seeds Jeera - 2 1/2 tsps
Coriander seeds - 2 1/2 tsps
Ajwain - 1/4 cup(25gms)
Dry or fresh ginger - one inch piece
Cardamom powder - 1tsp
Nutmeg - 1/2 piece
Ghee or clarified butter - 3 tbspn
KandaThipli (Desavaram Pipala mool) - 10 to 12 sticks
Jaggery (equal to the amount of ground paste) - 50 grms
Honey - 1 - 2 tsp


Mash all the dry medicinal ingredients in a blender.

Pour some water and soak them for about 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Grind into a soft paste in a blender.

Add 1/2 cup water and thoroughly mix up the paste and place in a heavy bottomed pan/vessel.

Cook it on a Sim flame, constantly stirring so that no lumps are formed.

When all the water is evaporated add the Jaggery and mix well.

Now add the ghee and mix well.

When the ghee separates, turn off the heat.

Add honey and mix well.

Store it in an air tight container.

Take one spoon of Legiyam on the day of Diwali.

Happy Diwali 2008 to you! Check out my other recipes (Sweets and Snacks) for Diwali


Mixture - A easy and quick snack for Diwali

I used to think that Mixture is tough to make. Mainly because, there are a lot of items in a mixture like Boondi, oma podi, aval ect. But after trying it, I can say for sure that it is one of the quickest snack I have ever made. Though the recipe calls for oil for deep frying, I think you can compromise on your diet for a festival like Diwali, which comes only once a year.

Mixture-Diwali Recipe

Even though store bought mixture has its own taste, homemade mixture is more scrumptious and relatively healthy as we can use fresh unused oil for deep frying. I am sending this and my other Diwali sweets and snacks to Pallavi's YFF - Diwali. With no further delay, let me share the recipe with you.

Ingredients: ( Makes 2 cup of mixture)

Gram flour/Besan - 1 cup
3 garlic flakes, minced (optional)
Ground nuts - 1/4 cup
Few fried Cashews
Flattened rice or Aval- 1/4 cup
Few curry leaves
salt to taste
1 tsp of chilli powder
Oil to deep fry

Mixture-Diwali Recipe


Follow this method to make Boondi.

Follow this method to make Omapodi.

Fry Aval, curry leaves, groundnuts and cashew nuts in oil. You can shallow fry these if you want to avoid oil.

Now in a big bowl, mix boondi, omapodi,groundnuts,cashews,curry leaves and toss them.

Add salt and chilli powder as per your spice level.

Mixture is all ready to eat! Enjoy.

Happy Diwali 2008 to you! Check out my other recipes (Sweets and Snacks) for Diwali.

Vegetable Idly - A Healthy Breakfast Recipe

Sometimes this happens. Your Idly/Dosa dough ferments more than required and it will taste worse. The sourness makes you go yuck! But this time I tried a new way to make the dough still edible. Easy and quick way to cook with your leftovers. I had few carrots and beans which was not enough to make a side dish on their own. So I used them along with this Idly batter and made Vegetable idly.

To tell you the truth, it was not that bad. It tasted more like an Idly but still had these vegetables. Which means we are eating healthy! Simple huh? Even the color of the Idly was a bit different. I think it was because of the carrots I added.

To make this Vegetable Idly, you will need,

Idly Batter
1 cup of vegetables (Carrots, beans, tomatoes, peas, corn or any vegetable of your choice)

1 medium onion, finely chopped

few fried cashews (optional)

Salt to taste


Make the Idly batter as shown in this video.

Cut these vegetables into small pieces. I used frozen peas and corn. You may skip these or use the fresh ones instead.

Add these vegetables along with onions to the batter and add required amount of salt.

As you would have already added salt for your Idly batter, it is enough if you add a tsp of salt for the vegetables.

Mix well and Pour it to the Idly cooker.

Cook it for 15 - 20 mts and serve hot with Chutney/Dip or Milagai Podi or even Sambar would go well with these.

I you feel that the vegetables will not be cooked, you can increase the time for 5 more min or can saute all the vegetables till half cooked in a pan before adding t hem to the idly batter.


You can also add chopped Cilantro and curry leaves to the batter.

Also in a pan, add few drops of oil and then mustard seeds. When they pop, you can add 1 tsp of cumin seeds and then 1 tsp of channa and urad dal. Saute them and add it to the batter along with the vegetables.

Idly itself is a healthy breakfast as it is steam cooked and adding vegetables would be even healthier and be a perfect diet food.


Pasta with marinara sauce - An Italian Delight!

When we were shopping the other day, we couldn't move beyond the sauces aisle. Just because I had a packet of Pasta at home, I cannot compel my husband to but pasta sauce to go with it. But I did. He tried his level best, but I didn't move from that place. What can he do? If I was a 5 year old, I would have been dragged from that place. But I am ...(Oh! didn't you know the rule? You can't expect a girl to write her age.) and it is difficult to drag me (my weight comes into picture, another number which I would never share). So as usual, ended up buying Marinara sauce.

Pasta with Marinara sauce, a typical Italian recipe. But did it taste Italian? I can't say, but it sure was edible and there was no leftover. Meaning it tasted great! My husband is very picky at what he eats. If he doesn't like, he will not eat it even if I do gimmicks. By the way, I suck at gimmicks.

Here is the recipe of the Pasta with Marinara sauce that I ended up cooking.

Ingredients: (makes for 2)

1/2 packet Pasta, any brand
1/2 cup marinara sauce
1 cup of vegetables chopped lengthwise (Carrots,Capsicum,Zucchini)
1/4 cup cheese (optional)
1 medium size onion chopped lengthwise
1 tsp oil
salt to taste
pepper to taste
Lettuce to garnish


Cook the Pasta as per the manufacturer's direction.

In a wide pan, add oil and onions. Saute them till they are light brown.

Add the chopped vegetables,salt and pepper. mix well cook till the vegetables are tender.

Now add the Pasta and mix well.

Add the marinara sauce and mix so that the pasta and vegetables are well coated with the sauce.

Garnish it with Lettuce.

Serve hot.

Authentic Kanchipuram idly - A South Indian Delicacy

Kanchipuram is my mom's native. I have been to Kanchipuram only twice. Both the times, to attend my relative's marriage. Though I know Kanchipuram is famous for its temples, the first thing that pops my mind is the Idly. The most famous South Indian breakfast recipe as far as I know.

As a kid, I got carried away by the name. Even the same with Kushboo Idly. Do you even know the etymology of this idly variety? I have to do some research now. Is it the Hindi word meaning smell or aroma or is it referring to the South Indian actress Kushboo. I'll never know.

OK back to our Kanchipuram Idly. To prepare this recipe you will need,

1 cup split black gram (urad dal)
1 cup raw rice
1 cup boiled rice
1 tablespoon split Bengal gram (chana dal)
1 tsp cumin seeds
3/4 cup sour curd
Few fried cashews
4 green chillies, chopped(optional)
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon pepper powder or freshly ground pepper
3 to 4 chopped curry leaves
1 tablespoons ghee or Oil
salt to taste
oil for greasing the Idly plates.

How to Prepare Kanchipuram Idly?

Soak both the rice together and Urad dal separately.

Make the Idly batter as shown in this how to make idly batter video.

When you are going to make the idly, in a pan, add a tsp of ghee/oil and saute urad dal,channa dal, cumin seeds, curry leaves, pepper, ginger.

Add this to the fermented batter along with fried cashews and sour curd. Mix well.

Greece the Idly cooker, or the Idly maker with little oil so that the Idlys come out without sticking.

Pour the batter and cook it for 15-20 min.

Serve hot with Chutney/Dip or the famous Milagai Podi.


How is my new look?

You all know that I have been conducting a survey. If you have not yet told me what you think, here is the survey details. I really appreciate if you could tell me what you think.

Meanwhile, I am so thankful to all those who already spoke their mind. I must admit that there were few comments that made me realize that my old template sucked! So I have put in my effort and have created this new one. You people were so kind to let me know my flaws. Tough love! But that is what I need to improve.

This month being a festival month (Halloween and Diwali), I decided to give the blog a new look and feel. Moreover, after knowing that the old template was not that good, I really did not want to continue with that.

Thanks ! I couldn't have asked for more. But I am. Please let me know how this template looks. Is it better than the previous one? Is the navigation made simple and easy? Do you have anything that I can add/remove? Please let me know either by commenting below or by filling the survey form.

How to make Chipotle's Burrito Bol at home

Even last Saturday we went to Chipotle. It has become one of our favorite hang out. Mainly because of the Burrito bol that they serve. I love the combination of black beans and rice. It always makes me lick my finger, in this case fork. I initially thought that you require some kind of mexican ingredient for this recipe to taste good. But, it is not the case. Though the Burrito bol served by Chipotle tastes scrumptious, I prepared a homemade version of it and it came out simply yummy!

Chipotle Burrito Bol

I generally order my Burrito Bol with Vegetables,Black beans, Tomato Salsa,Sour cream, lettuce and a Tortilla chips packet. I have tried to prepare this combo at home with Rajma (Red Kidney beans). Long back I tried the Salsa with Rajma and now the Burrito Bol. Both tasted great.

To make this homemade Burrito Bol, all you need is

1 cup of Black beans/Red beans(Rajma) - I used Rajma
1 cup of rice
1/4 cup of corn (I used Frozen Corn)
1 small onion(chopped lengthwise)
1/4 cup Lettuce
1/4 cup cilantro (optional)
1/4 cup of Capsicum
1/4 cup zucchini
1 tbspn of sour cream or Yogurt
1/4 cup cheese (optional)
Salt to taste

To make salsa:
1 medium tomato
1 medium onion
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt

Chipotle Burrito Bol

How to make this Burrito Bol at home?

Cook the rice separately and mix with cilantro.

In a pan, add oil and add the onions chopped length wise and saute.

Add the capsicum, zucchini and saute.

Add salt and cook for few minutes (till the vegetables are tender).

Pressure cook the beans separately adding required salt.

To make the salsa, chop the onions and tomatoes into small pieces and add salt and pepper.

Now in a bowl, add a cup of rice, add the vegetables, corn, salsa, sour cream or yogurt, Cheese.

Mix well and top it with the lettuce.

Serve hot!


How to make Dosa/Idly batter/dough - A cooking video

I have always wanted to make a recipe/cooking video and share it to the world. But, I was a bit skeptical about how the outcome will be. Recently, with the encouragement of my foodie friends and readers, I have made this video on how to make a Dosa/Idly dough/batter. I have tried to be very clear in my instruction. Please comment on the video and your suggestions are highly appreciated.

I am still not comfortable showing my face in a video. May be I can in my future videos (If I do any). Here is the video for How to make the Dosa/Idly dough at home which is the base for the famous South Indian Recipes Idly and Dosa.


4 Cup of Boiled Rice/Idly Rice Soaked for 4-5 hours
1 Cup of Urad Dal
1 tsp Fenugreek seeds (optional)


Add a tsp of fenugreek seeds to the urad dal while soaking. Soak for 45mts.

Grind the Soaked rice and urad dal separately.

Mix them well adding salt.

Allow them to ferment overnight. This process will take 16 - 20 hours.

Use the dough for Idly and Dosa preparation.


- Adding Fenugreek seeds will make the Idly soft

- Also you add a pinch of baking powder to make the Idly fluffy and soft.

- You can also add Flattened rice (Aval in Tamil) while grinding the rice, so get crispy dosas and soft idly. You have to soak the flatted rice for 15mts before grinding.

Hope you all enjoyed the video. Please let me know what you think so that I can improve in my next video.


Foodbuzz Publisher Community Launches

You must have all been aware by now that Foodbuzz community officially launched. I should have posted about this long back. But hey! better late than never. It is such a great fun being a part of this community. From the past 4 months I have been a featured publisher in Foodbuzz and I am so happy to be a part of it. It is a great place for the foodies to hangout and share ideas.

If you are already a member, then join hands with me in congratulating Foodbuzz on behalf of all the foodies. You can catch me here at Foodbuzz. If not, just take a look at Foodbuzz. If you are interested in joining foodbuzz, do let me know by sending an email to letusallcook[at]gmail[dot]com, I will be more than happy to refer you.

Here is the official Launch,


San Francisco – October 13, 2008 Foodbuzz, Inc., officially inaugurates its food blogger community with more than 1,000 blog partners, a global food blogging event and an online platform that captures the real-people, real-time power of food publishing in every corner of the world. At launch, the Foodbuzz community ranks as one of the top-10 Internet destinations for food and dining (Quantcast), with bloggers based in 45 countries and 863 cities serving up daily food content.

“Food bloggers are at the forefront of reality publishing and the dramatic growth of new media has redefined how food enthusiasts access tasty content,” said Doug Collister, Executive Vice President of Foodbuzz, Inc.“Food bloggers are the new breed of local food experts and at any minute of the day, Foodbuzz is there to help capture the immediacy of their hands-on experiences, be it a memorable restaurant meal, a trip to the farmers market, or a special home-cooked meal.”

Foodbuzz is the only online community with content created exclusively by food bloggers and rated by foodies. The site offers more than 20,000 pieces of new food and dining content weekly, including recipes, photos, blog posts, videos and restaurant reviews.Members decide the “tastiness” of each piece of content by voting and “buzz” the most popular posts to the top of the daily menu of submissions.Foodbuzz currently logs over 13 million monthly page views and over three million monthly unique visitors.

“Our goal is to be the number-one online source of quality food and dining content by promoting the talent, enthusiasm and knowledge of food bloggers around the globe,” said Ben Dehan, founder and CEO of Foodbuzz, Inc.

The Foodbuzz blogger community is growing at a rate of 40 percent per month driven by strong growth in existing partner blogs and the addition of over 100 new blogs per month. “The Web site is like the stock of a great soup. The Web site provides the base or backbone for bloggers to interact as a community, contribute content, and have that content buzzed by their peers,” said Mr. Dehan.

Global Blogging Event
Demonstrating the talent and scope of the Foodbuzz community, 24 Meals, 24 Hours, 24 Blogs offered online food enthusiasts an international, virtual street festival of food and diversity.The new feature showcased blog posts from 24 Foodbuzz partner bloggers chronicling events occurring around the globe during a 24 hour period and included:
Mid-Autumn Festival Banquest (New York, NY)
The "Found on Foodbuzz" 24-Item Tasting Menu
Aussie BBQ Bonanza – Celebrating Diversity
The Four Corners of Carolina BBQ Road Trip
Criminal Tastes – An Illegal Supper
From Matambre to Empanadas: An Argentine Dinner
A Sweet Trompe l’oeil(Seattle, WA)

24 Meals, 24 Hours, 24 Blogs” captures the quality and unique local perspective of our food bloggers and shared it with the world,” said Ryan Stern, Director of the Foodbuzz Publisher Community.“It illustrates exactly what the future of food publishing is all about – real food, experienced by real people, shared real-time.”

About Foodbuzz, Inc.

Based in San Francisco, Foodbuzz, Inc., launched its beta Web site,, in 2007.In less than a year, and its community of over 1,000 exclusive partner food blogs have grown into an extended online property that reaches more than three million users.


Witch's Broomstick- Halloween Cookie Recipe

Oh Yes! These are the cookies I tried few weeks back and failed miserably! You all know the outcome. Yes, the Table Tennis Bat cookies. I still couldn't figure out what went wrong. May be that was not my day! Anyways, I really wanted to share this recipe with you all.

When I read about these cookies in the Woman's Day Magazine (Halloween Celebrations), I was determined to share this Broomstick cookies recipe. But, unfortunately my first trial was a ... (you can fill up whatever you want).

These cookies looked so cute and yummy and tempted me to try again!And so I am going to make these for my friend's Halloween Party! yey! I am all excited. Hope this time it comes out well.

Picture courtesy: Woman's Day (Halloween Celebration) 2007 Magazine.

May be we can get some small witch dolls and make them sit on these cookies. wow! it will look so cute! wont they? It is a simple Halloween cookie recipe which sure will be a hit among kids.

Ingredients: (Makes: 36)

1 bag peanut butter cookie mix

1/3 cup all purpose flour

1 bag of Pretzel sticks

1 tube of Icing (Decorating frosting) of any colour


Preheat the oven at 375 degree F.

Prepare the cookie mix according to the package direction with the addition of the flour.

Divide it into 36 small portions.

Shape the dough pieces into small triangle of 1/4 inch thick.

Arrange these in the cookie sheet with 2 inch apart.

Insert the pretzel to one end.

Take a fork and press it on the dough to make broom bristles.

Bake for 12 to 15 min.

Cool the cookies and decorate it with the frosting.

Broom Cookie is ready and now we need to wait for the witch to show up! Easy huh?

The mistakes I made the first time baking these Broom cookies:

The dough was very lose so it did not stand properly in the cookie sheet

I did not have pretzel that time so I tried making the stick with the dough itself which was an absolute blunder!

I made them too thin so it was very crispy and broke easily.


If the bristles doesn't come properly with fork then don't worry. Bake them and draw them with the frosting. Either way they will look so cute.

If anyone try this Broom cookies, please let me know. I am kind of sentimentally attached to this cookies!

Vegetable salad with homemade ranch - Diet Food

Leading a healthy life is what we all want. Isn't it? When it comes to health, exercising and a good diet plays major role. I have tried many diets to reduce my weight. But mostly I discontinue these fancy diets mainly because it was really hard to follow. You might all be aware of the famous 7 day diet. I have tried it twice and both the time I had a considerable weight loss but my body's reaction to the diet was different. I had to face some other heath problem. So, I stopped dieting and moreover it is very difficult for me to control my want for delicious food. Sometimes I do what is called 'emotional eating'. I know emotional eating is not good. There are always 'buts' for everything right?

Healthy vegetable salad - A diet food

I am incorporating a healthy diet slowly. Raw Fruits and vegetables are the best diet food. To make them more delicious to eat we add salt, pepper and ranch. Since most of the time when I see the label in the Ranch bottles (shows that it contains more fat) I hesitate to buy, I started to prepare simple and easy homemade ranch for my vegetable salads. It is very simple and those who love Yogurt will definitely love this ranch.

Low-fat, Low-carb diet is what most of us prefer. Here is a salad which can be served for lunch or dinner which is low-fat, low-carb and a perfect diet foods for kids, adults. I have this salad at least three times a week. It is really a refreshing healthy food.


1 cup of cut vegetables - This can contain lettuce, carrots, cucumber, Tomatoes and any other vegetable which you would feel really comfortable eating them raw.

1/4 cup onions chopped lengthwise

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

Home made Ranch or Ranch of your choice

Almonds (Optional)


In a bowl mix the vegetables, onions salt and pepper. Toss them well.

Now add the ranch and vola! we have our healthy salad ready in minutes.

To prepare the homemade ranch:

Take 1 tbsp of low-fat yogurt and a pinch of salt and red chilli powder (optional) and your homemade ranch is ready.

I use this homemade ranch for my salads and I love the way it tastes. Please let me know if you have tried this. Did you like it?

Since this is a Low-fat, low- carb diet food, which is very healthy, I am sending this to diet food by dilse-divya and Eat healthy- Fight diabetes contest.


Quick and Easy Beetroot or Bloody salad for Halloween

Quick and Easy Beetroot Salad for HalloweenWhen it comes to bloody appearance, no vegetable can replace the beets. Beetroots contributes to a very healthy diet. I have already written about how beetroots lower blood pressure. Why not include this healthy vegetable in our Halloween Recipes?

Halloween means ghosts, scaring people, blood etc. So I thought it would be the best idea to include Beetroot into the Halloween dinner recipe. You need not do anything special for beetroot to become a part of Halloween. Just grate them and make a simple salad. It sure will look like blood or something bloody.

To make this simple and easy Halloween beetroot salad recipe, you will need

(For 3 people)

1 Medium size beetroot
1 tsp lime juice
1 Carrot (optional)
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1 tbsn vinegar


Grate the Beetroot, carrot.

If you want half cook the beets else you can have them raw too.

Sprinkle with vinegar.

Add salt and pepper.

Mix well. Add the lime juice and serve.


You can also add some roasted nuts to this salad.

Finely chopped onions will also add a great taste to this salad

Quick and easy right? It is healthy too. Why don't we all try something healthy for this Halloween?Who is with me?

Garlic bread Recipe - The most luring bread variety

Whenever we hit the Pizza hut or any Pizza place for that matter, the first thing I order is Garlic bread. I love Garlic bread as an appetizer. I can eat it all day long if my stomach co-operates without making me sit in the toilet for the next couple of days. I have browsed for many Garlic bread recipes-easy ones, difficult ones. But the recipe which I am going to share is 'The one', at least for me and my family.

Garlic Bread

When I placed these breads in the oven, I was praying that it must come out well. And by God's grace or should I say I was lucky? huh, either way I am very happy to share this Garlic Bread recipe with you all.


1 16-ounce loaf of Italian bread (Any bread is fine I guess)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
4 large cloves of garlic, smashed and minced
1 tbspn freshly chopped parsley
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

Garlic Bread


Preheat oven to 350°F for 10 min.

Mix the butter, garlic, and parsley together in a small bowl.

Add Salt to taste.

Make 1-inch thick slices into the bread.

Put a teaspoon or two of the butter mixture between each slice.

Wrap the bread in aluminum foil and heat for 15 minutes in the oven.

Garlic Bread is ready. Cool it for 5 min and dig in!

Garnished the Garlic breads with Red chilli flakes OR pepper before serving.

Best when hot. But can be refrigerated and reused.

I am sending this recipe to World Bread Day'08 hosted by Zorra.


Crochet Spider crawling to its cupcake web - Halloween Special

It was very interesting to decorate the cupcakes. I did them with a lot of enthusiasm. It took me around 30 mts to complete my Icing art for all my cupcakes, which includes the ghost cupcakes and monster cupcakes.

Halloween has increased my thirst for baking. Bake till it aches! Does it make sense? I don't know. I just wanted to make it rhyme. Anyways, these spider web cupcakes can be served as Halloween Dessert!

You will need,

Classic Cupcake recipe as a base to prepare the cupcakes.

Orange Icing for the background.

White Icing for the web.

Black Icing for the eyes of the Spider.

Red Icing for making the Spider.

Refrigerate it for 30 min before serving as Halloween Dessert.

Now coming to the Crochet Spider - Halloween Crafts for Kids. This is a very simple one and I followed exactly the pattern from here. Here is how the spider looks. The specialty is, the spider has a button hole and so you can button it up on your kids shirt and make it feel like a real spider crawling.

And my husband won't model it for me so I became the model myself. What do you think? Can I survive as a model? Pathetic huh? I know!

P.S: I am modeling the crochet spider and not his shirt. He wanted me to write this. Don't know why.

Pudina/Mint Rice/Pulao - My favorite herb recipe

Pudina/Mint is my all time favorite herb. I can eat curd rice with pudina thuvayal all day. Generally I eat this as a Pudina Thuvayal sadam(rice) but this time I wanted to make it with some additional masala and make it as Pudina/Mint Fried Rice/pulao .

The smell of these herbs are really refreshing. You can also use Mint in making Briyani to give it a rich taste. Now for the recipe of Pudina/Mint Rice/Pulao.This recipe serves for 6 people and I am sending this to World Food Day event.


4 cups Basmati rice (Can use boiled rice too)
1 cup mint leaves
5 green chillies OR Red Chilli whole
6 cloves of garlic
an inch of ginger
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 Bay leaves
2 whole cardamom
a piece of cinnamon stick
salt to taste
1 tbspn Ghee (Clarified Butter)
Tamarind - 1/2 the Lemon size
2 tsp Channa Dal
2 tsp Urad Dal


In a pan, add ghee and add ural and channa dal.

When they turn light brown in color, add the chillies and tamarind and saute.

Now add the mint leaves and saute for few min.

Allow the mixture to cool and grind it with salt into a fine paste.

Meanwhile, cook the rice in a rice cooker or pressure cooker. Allow the rice to cool after it is cooked.

In a big pan, add ghee and now add the bay leaf,cardamom,cinnamon and cumin seeds.

Now add cashews and fry till they become light brown. Switch off the stove.

Now add the rice and mix well.

Add the Pudina/Mint mixture and mix well. Add 2 tsp of ghee while mixing.

Check for salt.

This is my traditional way of cooking Mint/Pudina rice/Pulao. There are other ways of doing this too.

This rice is best eaten with chips,Papad or Potato. We had Potato fry,Papad and Mint rice for our dinner last weekend.


Monster cupcake - Another Halloween Dessert Recipe

Whenever I hear the word Monster, I get reminded of my Monster Cookie. Oh! how funny! I will never forget that experience. But, this time, it was a decent outcome. My Monster Cupcakes looked like a monster! Ha! What an achievement. I made a Ghost cupcakes too!

You will need,

Classic Cupcake recipe as a base to prepare the cupcakes.

Orange Icing for the background.

White Icing for eyes and teeth.

Black Icing for the eyebrows.

Red icing for the lips and pupil.

Refrigerate it for 30 min before serving as Halloween Dessert.

It is one of my first Icing arts so you might find flaws here and there. But hey! it looks like a monster doesn't it?

Coconut Cookies Recipe

I love the coconut biscuits sold in the shop near my house in India. They are the best cookies I have ever tastes. Chewy and tasty! Recently I came across a coconut cookies recipe in a book and I wanted to try that and see if it tasted like the one which I used to love.

What the heck? I have my husband to eat whatever I cook. Poor guy he has no choice. I know I am not going to lose anything for trying. I have become somewhat skeptical after my Monster cookie experience. But, that is never going to stop me. And I am happy that I tried. These cookies came out perfect and my husband loved them too. Hey, after all the hard work we put in, a kind word of appreciation especially from our husband is what we need. Isn't it?

Here is the Coconut Cookies recipe for you,


1 cup of all purpose flour
1/2 cup of butter
3/4 cup of sugar
2 tsp of vanilla essence
1 egg OR 1/4 cup silken Tofu
1/4 cup of grated coconut (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup of Sweetened coconut (especially used to bake)


Preheat the oven at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.

In a bowl, beat the eggs for 2 min in high and 1 min in low. Now add sugar and beat well.

Add butter and vanilla essence and mix with the help of a beater for 1 min.

Add both the coconut and mix well till the coconut is coated with the dough.

In a baking sheet, place a spoonful of dough.

Do not flatten the dough. Make sure that they do not have any particular shape. This really helps as the coconut will give a dimensional look to the cookie.

Bake it for 10 -12 min at 375 degrees.

Remove it from the oven, cool it and remove it using spatula.

Store it in an air tight container and enjoy!