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?



Another simple way to watermark your pictures

If you have been following Cham of spice club, you must already be aware of how to prevent your pictures from being stolen. This is the detailed post that she wrote on watermarking your pictures. I wanted to share my tips too but I am so lazy to write it as a post so I made a video. Please check it out and let me know if you have any questions in watermarking your pictures. I use a free website called Photobucket for watermarking my pictures. You can try them too. Its 100% FREE and very reliable. I have not faced any problems till now.

I am planning to make few other videos related to this topic so stay tuned!

Granular Oats Muffin - Healthy choice!

I always wanted to try Muffins and Cupcakes. I did try cupcakes a couple of weeks back but Muffins, very recently. I always got confused with muffins and cupcakes until recently found their difference (you can find it in my classical cupcake recipe). So Muffins huh? What else can I add with the regular muffin dough? May be oats! Granular oats!

Granular Oats Muffin

I just wanted to make my muffins healthy. Already I did not use Butter in its preparation so now adding oats gave me a satisfaction that it is healthy someway or the other. I poured only 1/2 of the pan, so my muffins didn't come out fluffy but it tasted real good.


1 medium egg, beaten.
2 cups of flour
3/4 cup of milk.
1/2 cup of granular oats
1/2 cup of sugar.
1/2 cup of oil, if you want you can use butter too
3 teaspoons of baking powder.
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
1/8 teaspoon of salt.

Oats Muffin - Healthy Breakfast recipe


Mix together the egg, milk, oil and vanilla extract.

In another bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder,salt and granular oats.

Since the granular oats has raisins, it comes out with good taste.

Mix the two mixtures.

Fill 3/4 of a muffin pan with the dough and bake at 390F for about 15 minutes.

Allow it to cool and serve with tea/coffee for breakfast.


Pasta with homemade tomato sauce

I recently prepared Matar Paneer and I was wondering how pasta would taste with its sauce(gravy). So waiting for Pasta night and tried this combination and to my surprise it tasted really good. My husband loved the taste and I was very happy that I took a shot at this.

Pasta with homemade tomato sauce

It is very simple, the gravy/sauce preparation is as follows,


1/2 cup onions, finely chopped
3/4 cup of tomatoes, fine chopped
1/2 tbspn of cashews
1 tbspn of oil
Salt to taste
2 finely chopped green chillies
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp red chili powder


In a pan, add 1 tbspn of oil. Add the cashews and fry them till light brown.

Now add the chopped onions, salt and saute them till they are light brown.

Now add the green chilies, tomatoes and mix well. cook till the tomatoes are mashed.

Allow the mixture to cool. Grind it to a thick puree with adding very little water.

In the same pan, add the puree and 1/4 cup of water. Bring it to a boil.

Add coriander powder, cumin powder,chili powder and mix well.

Cook it in Sim flame for 10 minutes.

Now Prepare the Pasta as given by the manufacturer.

Mix Pasta with this sauce and serve hot!

If you want you can cook some vegetables separately and mix it with the sauce so that we get some crunchy effect too.


Puffed Poori/Puri - Reader's question (How To)

How to make the Puri/poori puff up? How do you make the poori stay puffed for a longer time?How can you make Poori not absorb more oil? These are few of the usual questions we get while cooking poori. I received few mails asking these same questions and so I thought of making Poori to find out. Not only this, my good friend Jai, asked me to post Poori recipe. So here comes the Poori, all puffed up.

Puffed Poori - How to


1 cup Wheat flour (atta)
2 tsp Suji/Semolina
Warm water to make the dough
Few drops of Oil to coat the dough
Oil to deep fry
Salt to taste


In a bog bowl, mix the flour,salt and Suji. Add warm water little by little and make the dough.

The dough must be a tight dough, unlike chapati dough which is soft.

When the dough is ready coat it with few drops of oil and rest the dough for 15 min.

Do not rest it for more than 15-20 mts. Poori, unlike chapati must be prepared immediately after making the dough.

In a Kadai/Pan, heat the oil.

Meanwhile, take small portion of the rough and press it into a round shape, using the roller.

Now add the Poori into the hot oil.

Serve hot with Potato Masal (the same one which we use for masal dosa), chutney or side dish of your choice.

Now to the regular questions,

How to make the Poori Puff up?

When you add the Poori in the hot oil, wait till it comes up and immediately press it with a big spoon. Immerse it in the oil and this will release the bubbles and the poori will puff up.

Note: If you press the poori,

- before it floats on the oil, the poori will never puff up.

- few seconds after the poori floats in oil, it will form lots of small bubbles.

How can you make poori stay puffed up for longer time?

This was a mystery to me too. But, recently I figured out that adding little bit of Suji/Semolina will make the poori stay puffed for a longer time. I learnt this from Sanjay (Vah Chef).

How can you make Poori not absorb more oil?

This is very simple, always use fresh oil for frying. When you use oil which has been used more than once, poori will absorb a lot of oil and stay sticky.

Hope my learning was useful. Make puffed Poori and let me know if these tricks worked for you too. Do you have any special tips that you use while preparing Poori? Share it with us!


Khajur Roll - A Diabetic friendly sweet

This is an other recipe from one of my readers, Megha. "This is a sweet which is good for diabetic people as it contains no sugar", says Megha. Yes! people, no sugar! and no jaggery can we prepare a sweet like this? Is this what you are thinking right now?, then join me in learning Khajur Roll.

Ingredients: (For 5 people)

black dates - 500 grams
milk powder - 500 grams
cashew - 5 pieces
walnut - 5 pieces
pure ghee - 3 teaspoons
silver wrappings - 2 sheets


Cut the black dates in small pieces. Wash thoroughly and make it dry.

Take 3 teaspoons pure ghee & fry the pieces of the dates in a pan for 5 min in low heat.

Shake well during frying. Add dry fruit mixture & mix it properly. Allow it to cool it in a plate.

In another plate take milk powder & prepare it's dough the same way we prepared the black dates dough.

Prepare chapatis(roll it like roti) separately of dates & milk powder (u can use plastic sheet to make it more easily.)

Place chapati of milk powder on chapatis of black dates & roll it.

Place silver wrappings on it. Make the rolls of remaining dough of dates & milk powder accordingly.

Keep all the prepared rolls in deep freeze.

After 10 minutes cut the rolls in round shape and serve it with walnuts & almonds.

Thanks Megha for sending such a great sweet for the Eat Healthy Event. Did you know? you can submit your recipes too using the Submit form. Hoping to see a lot of healthy recipes.

On another note, Thanksgiving is around and I would like to wish all of you a great Thanksgiving and try atleast one Indian recipe for this Thanksgiving and enjoy!

Take a look at few of my this year's Thanksgiving recipes.

For all those who are waiting for Black Friday deals - Happy Shopping!


Egg and spinach salad

Eggs are high in protein and is very important for a pregnant women to consume eggs as it is a great source of choline, which helps the baby's ability to improve its memory power. As egg whites are full of protein, they are very good for diabetic patients too. And you all know about spinach. Green leafy vegetables are always good for health. So I came up with this very easy and quick salad which includes egg whites and spinach making it healthy.

Egg and Spinach Salad

Though I made Eggs and Spinach together, I have a question to you all. Is it okay to eat eggs and spinach together? My mother-in-law used to say that we should not eat eggs with curd. Is there anything for Eggs and spinach?Do let me know!


1/2 cup onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup tomatoes, finely chopped
1/4 cup of cooked corn (you can use frozen corn)
1/4 cup spinach
few finely chopped coriander leaves
Few Almonds,cashews,raisins
2 eggs (Use only the whites)
Salt and pepper to taste


In a bowl mix all the ingredients except egg and mix well.

Cook the egg and remove the yellow. Cut the egg white into small pieces and mix it with the other ingredients.

Now add salt and pepper for taste and toss the salad.

If you want you can add ranch, but personally I feel eating them without ranch is more healthy.

This takes a maximum of 10 min to prepare and makes 2 servings.

You can also add any other vegetable especially carrots and lettuce to make it more healthy. I am sending this to my Eat Healthy - Fight Diabetes event.

The event is till Nov 30, so those who have an idea of participating, please do asap.


Matar Paneer - The best Indian Side dish ever!

As far as I am concerned Matar(Peas) Paneer is the best side dish. I really don't have words to explain the taste of this dish. It goes perfectly well with Naans, Chapatis, Pulao or any rice variety for that matter. If you wish, you can substitute Paneer with an healthy version- Tofu and this still becomes the best side dish ever. Paneer is Indian cottage cheese and very easy to prepare at home. I will post a recipe of how to make homemade paneer soon.

Matar Paneer


1/2 cup of Paneer
1/2 cup of Matar (peas)- You can use the frozen ones.
1/2 cup onions, finely chopped
3/4 cup of tomatoes, fine chopped
1/2 tbspn of cashews
2 tbspn of oil
1 bay leaf
2 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole cardamoms
Salt to taste
2 finey chopped green chillies
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp Kasturi methi leaves
1 tbspn chopped coriander leaves

Naan and Matar Paneer


In a pan, add 1 tbspn of oil. Add the cashews and fry them till light brown.

Now add the chopped onions, salt and saute them till they are light brown.

Now add the tomatoes and mix well. cook till the tomatoes are mashed.

Allow the mixture to cool. Grind it to a thick puree with adding very little water.

In an other pan, add oil, bay leave,cinnamon stick,cardamom,cloves.

Now add the puree and mix well. Add 1/4 cup of water.

Add coriander powder, cumin powder,chili powder, green chilies and mix well.

Add the Kasturi Methi leaves and mix well. This is the ingredient which gives the buttery texture to the dish and if you don't have this, its okay, the recipe still tastes good.

Cook the mixture in Sim flame for 10 minutes.

Now add the Matar(peas) and cook for 3 minutes.

Now add the Paneer and mix well. Cook for 5 minutes in Sim flame and garnish it with coriander leaves.

Serve hot with Naans/Rotis/Rice and enjoy!


Sending sweets to my sweet friend

I must say, Srilekha has been a great support from day one. She has become a very good friend to me during this course of time and has been very supportive of my Eat Healthy contests. She is hosting an event and have asked us to prepare any kind of sweets. So here comes my sweets for her,


Rava Ladoo

Rice Pudding

Beetroot Halwa

Kaju Katli

Carrot Halwa

Mysore Pak




Garlic Naan - Indian Flat Bread For Breadline Africa

Garlic Naan is my favorite Indian flat bread. Whenever I go to an Indian restaurant, I order this item. Yummy! I wanted to try this at home but was not sure how it will come out. Finally, I did try this yesterday and it turned out awesome. This is a very simple recipe but you got to do it right to get the recipe right. I also made mattar paneer to go with this and our dinner was perfect!

I don't know why, but my smoke alarm has a great feeling for my oven. whenever I switch on the oven, the smoke alarm goes off. So typical! I could only make 2 Naans using oven and I made the rest using my tawa on stove top. Either way, it tasted grate.

Naan - Indian Flat Bread

Ning of Heart and Hearth tagged me for baking a bread for good cause. Yes!Breadline Africa launched the Worldwide Blogger Baker Bake-Off Challenge aiming at raising $ 1 M in funds. This bake-off gives us baking bloggers the power to make a difference in this world. What do we do? Bake bread. Give Dough. Feed Africa.
Breadline Africa says : On 15 October, we launched The Breadline Africa Worldwide Blogger Bake Off.

The Blogger Bake Off is an online campaign that challenges bloggers to get involved by baking bread, and then acting by donating to end poverty. And then, challenge their readers and five other bloggers to do the same.

With the money raised, we will be supporting grass roots community projects aimed at ending poverty and hunger in Africa. We’ll be placing container kitchens, vegetable gardens and more in poor communities, sending emergency food relief where needed and helping these poor communities to help themselves.

The rules for bloggers are outlined below:

If you are tagged, copy and paste the rules into your post.

Bake bread, do something you wouldn’t normally do, and blog about it. Upload your picture and recipe.

Give dough, donate to Breadline Africa and help us end poverty.

Tag five bloggers, and ping us so we know you’ve done so.

The person who raises the most funds will get to name a Breadline Africa community kitchen and win $500 Amazon Vouchers.

There are also three minor prizes of $250 Amazon vouchers for people who receive the most votes in the following categories: Most Unusual Recipe; Most Nutritious Recipe and Most Traditional Recipe.

I prepared this Garlic Naan as it is a traditional Indian recipe.


1 cup of All purpose flour
salt to taste
1/4 cup warm water
1 tsp dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup of milk
1 tbspn of minced garlic

Naan- Indian Flat Bread with Mattar Paneer


In a small bowl, add the yeast to the warm water. Add sugar to make the yeast activate.

Rest it for 10 minutes.

Now add the required amount of salt and milk and mix well.

In a medium bowl, add t he all purpose flour. Add this yeast mixture and make it into a dough.

The dough must be very soft, even if it is sticky that is fine but it must be very very soft.

Cover it and rest it for 20 minutes.

Now preheat the oven to 500 degree F.

Make a medium size ball from the dough, add some flour and make it into a round shape.

Toss it between your hands. This makes shape of the naan and slightly pull it one side so that it looks more like a triangle.

If you want your Naan to be in round shape or square, go ahead.

Place the Naan in a non-stick pan and bake it for 2 min one side. Remove it, turn and bake the other side for 30 to 45 seconds.

For preparing Garlic Naan, add 1 tsp of the minced garlic to Naan dough while making the medium ball. Do the same procedure.

Apply butter immediately on the Naan and serve hot with side dish of your choice. I love this with Mattar paneer/Paneer Tikka masala/Aloo Mattar.

If you do not have oven or for some reason your smoke alarm goes off whenever you use your oven (like in my house), you can also make this Naan in stove top using the Tawa/griddle.

Make sure that you cook both the sides well in medium heat and then enjoy. What I personally felt using this method was that the Naan was even more soft. But the yeast taste for predominant. So be careful while cooking. Be sure that the Naan is completely cooked before you eat.

I am tagging


Hope you could participate guys. Happy Baking!


Foodie Chat - Lauren from Vegan Yum Yum!

FoodieChat  - Vegan YumyumWhen I was searching for tips to take good food photographs, I came across this Vegan Yum.Yum blog of Lauren's. I visited her blog to learn about food photography but, ended up learning more than that. She has a great collection of recipes and is one of the best food photographers. All her pictures are treats to our eyes. With no further delay, I present Lauren!

Why and when did you start blogging?

I started blogging in December of 2006. I wanted a way to keep track of the food I was eating, and an easy way to show people what vegans actually eat!

Why did you choose Food as a topic to blog?

It's easy for me to talk about! I think about food all the time, and there is always something new to learn or new to try, so it's a great topic for blogging. And it's something everyone can relate to.

Can you give some tips on time management?

Do you mean while cooking? I manage my time best with the recipes I make consistently; I know what pans to use, when to start each part of the meal, and how to make sure everything finishes together. It's worth it to me to spend a few minutes before cooking to figure out what my "game plan" is so that I can get everything done as efficiently as possible. Sometimes, though, I make the dish up as I go along, so it's impossible to plan. I try to enjoy myself in the kitchen, so when I don't have any time constraints I don't really care how long it takes to make a meal. Cooking is half the fun!

In a day, how many hours you spend blogging?

That depends. On a day where I do a post, I can spend several hours to all day (planning the recipe, cooking, plating, photographing, editing the photos, writing, and editing the post). On non-post days I spend a good amount of time responding to reader emails and working on special projects that relate to the blog, like magazine articles or interviews like this!

Do you have any other hobbies other than blogging?

I do like to knit, but that tends to be a winter hobby for me. I take photos of lots of things besides food, so photography would definitely be a hobby!Knit Night Cupcakes

Sangeeth: I would like to barge in here and share the Knit night cupcakes made by Lauren. Very cute and creative.

To know more about her talents, do visit her about page. You will be surprised.

Do you see any change in your blogging habits?

Definitely. When I first started I posted simply what I ate that day, where as now I always try to create a new, original recipe for my readers.

There are many food blogs now, what do you think is the major difference between a food blog and a website that shares recipes?

I think food blogs are more personal. There is a story that goes with the recipe, and it could be anything from what it was like to actually make it (hard, easy, annoying), or where the recipe came from. I also think on a website that just shares recipes it's harder to be honest about a bad recipe, where as you can post a failure on your blog and people respond to that just as much as a recipe that's a success. My readers actually really like it when I say, "I totally messed this recipe up, it was terrible!"

What advice do you give to the new comers?

Like anything, the more you do it, the better you get. Focus on writing the blog that you wish you could find on the Internet, and you'll have a good website. Also, photos are key! If you're a reader, you can't smell or taste the food yourself; it's good to be able to at least see it!

Which is your favorite cuisine and why?

This is impossible for me to answer! It really depends on what mood I'm in and what I'm craving. I don't think there's a single cuisine I've tried that I've disliked.

You are a regular reader of ....

I read lots of food blogs, especially vegan ones like Have Cake, Will Travel and Fat Free Vegan Kitchen. But I also read some non-vegan food blogs as well!

Do you cook frozen food?Whats your perception of frozen food?

I cook with frozen food in moderation. I like frozen peas and corn, but I never buy frozen entrees or full meals. I like cooking way too much!

When did you first start cooking?

I've been cooking my whole life. I can remember my mother always cooking for us, and I would often hang out in the kitchen and help.

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

I don't have cable TV, but I do watch cooking shows on PBS occasionally. I never cook from cookbooks, so I don't actually have a favorite, and I love all cuisines! As far as restaurants, I love Millennium in San Francisco and Candle 79 in New York City.

Who/what is your inspiration?

The food itself is often my inspiration!

Have you cooked/tasted Indian cuisine?

Yes! I have a few Indian recipes on my blog, including kaju katli, aloo parathas, and some curries. Yum!

Any tips for Healthy cooking?

I don't focus on healthy cooking, so I can't say that's my expertise!

Your achievements as far as blogging is concerned so far.

I've one a few awards from VegNews magazine, and I was on the Martha Stewart Show earlier this year.

I love your pictures. Your Photography secrets?

The short list: use natural light, no flash, and stabilize your camera for clear, crisp shots!

Sangeeth: Its me again, here is her blog post on Food photography tips. If you have time, just go through it. It is very simple and easy to follow. I bet, you will never come out her blog without bookmarking few recipes!

If given a chance, about which cuisine would you like to learn more? why?

I'd love to learn more about Indian cuisine since I feel like I've just barely scratched the surface. I'd especially love to learn the differences between regional Indian cooking. I also would love to learn more about Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine!

If asked to share one recipe from your blog, which would you choose and why?

Aloo ParathasI don't think there is one recipe that represents my blog, but perhaps the miniature doughnuts I made or these aloo parathas!-

Why is it difficult for many vegetarians to convert to vegans?

It's hard to say, and I think you'll get a different answer from any person you ask. I think a lot of people think going vegan is such a huge change that it's unmanageable.

Why should one become vegan?

I'm not vegan for health or environmental reasons, but they are certainly great bonuses. I'm personally vegan because it's a lifestyle that matches my own personal ethics and world view: love and compassion for all, not just humans.

Did you like the interview? Are you a vegan? or do you have plans to become a vegan? Do let us know by commenting below.

I would like to Thank Lauren for this lovely interview.

If you know anyone whom I can interview 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.


Fish Fry - South Indian Method

In India, my mother-in-law makes fish fry every alternate Sundays. Though cleaning the fish is a 'process', she does it very quickly (maybe practice) and makes these fries for appetizers. Lunch time during Sundays are awfully busy. Cooking for 6 people, 6 different ways was time consuming. But we had fun, as me and my co-sister would be joking all the time in the kitchen. times!

Fish Fry-South Indian Style

Fish is very good for health and few people consider fish as vegetarian(!?). As it is full of protein, if you are a non-vegetarian, you must consider adding more fish to your diet than meat or poultry.

Ingredients for Fish Fry, the South Indian Style

4 lengthwise cut fish pieces (any freshwater fish)
few curry leaves
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp turmeric powder
Few coriander leaves
1 tsp coriander powder
1 chopped green chili
salt to taste
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp of lemon juice
1 tbspn of oil


Wash the fish in running water and using a tissue paper remove the moisture from the fish.

In a small bowl, add turmeric,coriander powder,chili powder,ginger garlic paste,chopped curry leaves,chopped coriander,green chilies, salt.

Add oil to this mixture so that we do not use oil while frying/grilling.

Add the lemon juice and mix well.

Now, apply this mixture to the fish so that this masala evenly coats the fish.

Leave it for 15 minutes.

In a Tawa/Grill, place the marinated fish and cook for 3 min, turn and cook for another 2 min till the fish is cooked. On the whole, after 7-8 min the fish is cooked and ready to eat.

Always cook it in a medium heat. Serve hot.


Spaghetti for Thanksgiving dinner!

As I told in my yesterday's post, here is the Spaghetti and vegetable balls recipe. Actually, whenever I hear the word Spaghetti I automatically think of meat balls. Assuming that the recipe would taste awesome, I wanted to make a vegetarian version of it. I do remember Cham of Spiceclub making Spaghetti and Soy balls sometime before. The thing is, my husband is not a great fan of soy products. Leaving me no choice but to try vegetable balls.

Spaghetti and Vegetable Balls

To be honest, they did taste very good and now have joined my regular dinner list. I am really amazed at myself for trying out stuff. I am a lazy person for whom cooking was a chore. But now, I am inspired by so many to try out different varieties of food.

Let me give you the recipe,


1 cup spaghetti
1 cup of vegetables, fine chopped (carrots,beans,cabbage,celery etc)
1 cup boiled rice OR 1 egg
3 tbsp chili paste
3 chopped green chillies
1 tbspn chopped garlic
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 tbsp corn flour
1 large ginger, finely chopped
Oil to fry
1 medium onion
2 tsp pepper powder
Salt to taste
4 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup spring onions


Add little water and steam the finely chopped minced vegetables in a pan. Steam it for 2 min and drain the vegetables by squeezing and store the water for making the sauce. This water is like vegetable stock so do not throw them away.

In a bowl add the cooked vegetables, salt, few chopped green chillies,pepper powder,ginger,soy sauce,chili paste,corn flour and mix well.

Now you can either use egg or 1 cup of boiled rice to this mixture to make small dumplings.

In a pan, heat the oil and deep fry these dumplings.

Note: If the dumpling breaks, add some more boiled rice to the mixture.

To make sauce:

In a pan, add oil. Add cumin seeds, chopped garlic and ginger.

Add onion and saute them.

Add green chili, pepper powder, soy sauce, a pinch of sugar and chili sauce.

Add the vegetable stock, required amount of salt.

Let it come to a boil.

Now, add the vegetable dumplings and coat them with this sauce.

Meanwhile cook the spaghetti as per the instruction. Serve hot with this vegetable balls and a perfect Thanksgiving Dinner is ready, the vegetarian way!


Vegetable Manchurian (dry) Reicpe - An Appetizer

I tried this vegetable Manchurian, which is similar to Gobi Manchurian. Last week, I prepared some spaghetti and I wanted some side dish to go with it. So I prepared vegetable balls, the recipe of which I will share soon. While preparing that dish, I prepared some dry ones which can be used as an appetizer in parties are even on Sunday Meals.

Vegetable Manchurian

I learnt this from the vah chef and I would suggest everyone to try this. So instead of Spaghetti and Meat balls, we ended in Spaghetti and vegetable balls. It was my first time eating spaghetti and I would say a person who loves pasta has all reasons to love spaghetti too!


1 cup of vegetables, fine chopped (carrots,beans,cabbage,celery etc)
1 cup boiled rice OR 1 egg
3 tbsp chili paste
3 chopped green chillies
1 tbspn chopped garlic
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 tbsp corn flour
1 large ginger, finely chopped
Oil to fry
1 medium onion
2 tsp pepper powder
Salt to taste
4 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup spring onions


Add little water and steam the finely chopped minced vegetables in a pan. Steam it for 2 min and drain the vegetables by squeezing and store the water for making the sauce. This water is like vegetable stock so do not throw them away.

In a bowl add the cooked vegetables, salt, few chopped green chillies,pepper powder,ginger,soy sauce,chili paste,corn flour and mix well.

Now you can either use egg or 1 cup of boiled rice to this mixture to make small dumplings.

In a pan, heat the oil and deep fry these dumplings.

Note: If the dumpling breaks, add some more boiled rice to the mixture.

To make sauce:

In a pan, add oil. Add cumin seeds, chopped garlic and ginger.

Add onion and saute them.

Add green chili, pepper powder, soy sauce, a pinch of sugar and chili sauce.

Add required amount of salt and spring onions.

Add the vegetable dumplings and coat them with this sauce.

The vegetable Manchurian (dry) is ready and serve hot!


Milagai Podi/Chilli powder- An easy Side dish for many South Indian Tiffen Recipes

When I hear the word Milagai podi, which is a Tamil word for Chilli powder, I immediately get reminded of Idly and Dosa. This is a very famous side dish for these south Indian Tiffen recipes. They make the tiffen spicy and yummy to eat.

Milagai Podi

There are different ways of preparing this Milagai powder which is used as a side dish. But here I have combined my mothers and my mother-in-law's method.


1 cup dry red chillies
1 tbspn Channa Dal
1/2 tbspn Urad Dal
1/2 tbspn Dhaniya (Coriander seeds)
3-4 Garlic Flakes


In a pan, roast the urad and channa dal until they become light brown.

Now add the coriander seeds and fry for few seconds.

Add the red chillies and garlic and fry for few seconds.

Cool the mixture and grind it.

You can either grind it into a very fine powder or coarse powder.

I generally make them coarse because we love the crunchy effect that this powder produces.

Add 2 tsp of this powder and add some oil and mix them together. Eat them with Idly/Dosa.YUM!

Note: You can store this powder upto 1 week in an air tight container.


Hyderabadi Chicken biryani

If you ask any Non-veg lover, I bet they will unanimously agree that Hyderabadi chicken biriyani is the best of all biriyanis. I don't know why, but there are a lot of Andra recipes that are a big hit in Tamil Nadu. I love their Parupu Podi(Lentil Powder). When you eat it with ghee and rice...YUM!
Hyderabadi Chicken biriyani

To prepare Hyderabadi chicken Biriyani you need, (for 4 people)

2 lbs of chicken,
2 cups basmati rice
1 cup finely sliced onions(fried),
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp peppercorns
1/2 tsp turmeric,
2 green chillies finely chopped,
few fried cashew nuts,
2 bay leaves,
3 cloves,
1 inch long cinnamon stick,
3 or 4 cardamom,
1 tsp kala jeera(black cumin), if not available you can also use normal cumin seeds
2 cups mint leaves,
1 cup coriander leaves (cilantro),
Salt to taste
1/2 cup yogurt,
1 tbspn oil,
2 tsp saffron colour

Hyderabadi Chicken Biriyani


Clean the chicken and cut them into small cubes.

Marinate the chicken :

In a bowl add chicken, green chillies,mint,coriander leaves, peppercorns,cumin seeds,chilli powder,turmeric,salt,cumin powder,coriander powder,bay leaf,cinnamon,cloves,cardamom,1/2 cup fried onions,1 tbspn oil and yogurt and mix well.

Rest it for 15 mts.

Meanwhile soak the rice in water for 30mts.

In a wide mouth pan, add enough water. Add 2 tsp of oil and add salt.

Drain the soaked rice and add it to the water in the pan and cook.

Make sure that you Half cook your rice. Switch it off.

In another pan, add the marinated chicken in one layer. Add the half cooked rice above the chicken and add the leftover fried onions.

Add the saffron colour.

Cover it tight and cook it for 30mts - 5 min in high flame, 15 mts in medium flame and 10 min in the sim flame.

Serve hot with raita or any other side dish of your choice.


Pasta in Chilli Sauce

After coming to the US, Pasta has become a weekly dinner for us. Atleast once in a week I cook Pasta for dinner. This makes it harder for me. If I cook pasta the same way, my big baby here is not eating. He wants variation. Cooking for him is more work than preparing for a math exam. Every meal must be different and atleast I must not have prepared it within that month. Sometimes I run out of recipes. But to be very honest, many a times my fellow foodies blog have helped me show variations in cooking.Kudos to you!

Pasta in Chilli Sauce

This time it is Pasta with Chilli sauce. This is the same chilli sauce we prepare for Gobi Manchurian (dry). Just added the Pasta and wow! it was spicy. You can reduce the quantity of spice according to your taste. This is yet another very easy and quick to make Pasta recipe.


1 cup pasta (any type)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 tsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbspn garlic, minced
1/2 tbspn ginger,finely chopped
1 tsp pepper powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tbspn chilli garlic sauce


Cook the pasta as given by the manufacturer.

In a pan, add oil. Add cumin seeds.

Now add garlic, ginger. Saute them for few seconds.

Add Onions and saute them.

Add cumin powder and 1 tbspn of water for the spice to cook.

Add pepper powder and chilli garlic sauce. Cook for a minute.

Add the cooked paste and mix well so that each pasta is coated with the sauce.

Makes a great dinner if you are a spice lover.

I am sending this to Presto Pasta Night started by Ruth and this week's host is Nilmandra


French Fries - Mc Donald or Burger King?

When it comes to French fries it is always McDonald for me. I have tried making french fries at home and have never been successful in making something atleast close to the original recipe. May be we have to spy and get the original recipe. Do you know some one who works for them?OK. I am crossing the line here. Tell me, which is your favorite w.r.t french fries, McD or Burger King?

Last weekend I craved for french fries. whats with this craving and me? It is like daily I get an urge to eat something different but all from restaurants, no home cooking.Hmm... this either means that I am becoming lazy or the restaurant people have bribed me. Clearly the second option is ruled out. So we land on me being Lazy again! Duh! But finally prepared French fries at home!

Homemade French fries

Now for the Homemade French Fries. BTW does anyone knows why these are called french fries? please enlighten me!


3 potatoes (The kind of Potatoes which are for baking/frying)

1 tsp of chilli powder(optional)

A pinch of salt

Oil for deep frying


Cut your potato into any shape you want.

Wash them and dry them with paper towels.

In a pan, heat oil and fry these potatoes at 355- 360 deg F.

Toss them with salt and chilli powder if you want and enjoy!

Note: I have tried the same method with the normal potatoes but dint turn out well. So I guess the secret is using the potatoes especially meant for baking/frying.


Try Masala Capsicum Rice for Thanksgiving

Do you want an Indian recipe for this Thanksgiving? And do you want it to be vegetarian? if Yes, you ought to try this Masala capsicum rice recipe. I have seen many recipes for capsicum rice. But this one is the winner. If you are person who loves to eat rice, you will love this recipe.

Capsicum Rice for Thanksgiving

This is perfect for a Thanksgiving lunch or dinner. The best part is, you can eat this without any side dish and it still tastes awesome. I loved it and I suggest you to give it a try sometime.


1 cup cooked Basmati rice
1 cup capsicum (red,yellow, green) - what the heck? make your rice colorful!
1 tbspn of ghee (clarified Butter)
1/4 cup onions chopped lengthwise
Salt to taste

To dry roast and grind:

2 whole red chilli
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp cum seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tbspn peanuts
few curry leaves
2 tsp urad dal

Capsicum Rice for Thanksgiving


In a pan, dry roast the ingredients mentioned.

Allow it to cool and the blend it to a coarse powder.

Meanwhile cook the basmati rice.

In a pan, add ghee and saute the onions.

Add the capsicums and saute. Cook until the capsicums are half cooked.

Now add the coarsely ground powder and mix well.

Take this mixture and mix well with the rice.

Garnish it with cilantro before serving. Serve hot in a capsicum bowl!

I am sending this to Srivalli's Rice Mela and Mansi's Vegetarian Thanksgiving.


A Kid friendly Thanksgiving Dessert Recipe

Thanksgiving is around and I hope all are getting into the holiday mood. It is always a holiday mood for me. Sitting at home has its perks - you know what I mean. Though few of my friends have asked for Turkey recipes, (which I will be posting soon) it is always good to eat something vegetarian or vegan when it comes to festivals. Hope you all agree.

Banana Dosa - Thanksgiving dessert recipe

When I was browsing through some Thanksgiving recipes, I came across this scrumptious banana dessert recipe. It is a recipe from vahrehvah. I made a variation in the presentation, but followed the exact recipe. This recipe consists of nuts, banana and is fully packed with nutrients that is required for kids. I bet kids will love them too.


4 ripe bananas
1/2 cup rice flour
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup chopped raisins
1/4 cup nuts(cashews,Almonds etc)
1/4 cup sugar
few drops of Ghee (Clarified Butter)


In a bowl, mash the bananas.

Add all the ingredients and mix well. The consistency of the dough must be like a paste but not very loose.

In a griddle/Tawa, add a cup of this dough, spread it to a small round (more like your pancakes).

Add ghee to this and cook both sides in a medium flame.

Note: Cook carefully as this easily get burned. so cook it in a medium or even sim flame.

You can serve this with any chutneys or eat it without any accompaniment.

Banana Dosa - Thanksgiving dessert recipe
I used a cookie cutter and made banana man, I am sure kids will fall in love with this man. A perfect dessert for kids of all ages (which includes us too). It is very tempting to eat little men! oh! now I have started eating men too. lol!

Bitter Gourd/ Pavakka Curry - Diabetic friendly recipe

I am very happy and excited to host the EH -Fight Diabetes contest which ends on Nov30'08. It is a great opportunity to learn and cook healthy food. When it comes to variety, nothing can beat the creativity of our Foodies. Till now I have got so many varieties of food which are diabetic friendly. I am really thankful to all my participants. It is not too late, this is a friendly reminder, inviting you all to participate. Just take a look at the contest rules and start cooking.

Bitter guard/Pavaka curry

Before receiving the entries, I used to think only Bitter gourd is good for diabetic patients. But wow! even diabetic patients can have varieties in their diet. Thanks to all. Hope the round up will turn out well. As my contribution, I am sharing this Bitter gourd/Pavakka curry to the event.


1 cup bitter gourd, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup onions, finely chopped
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
A pinch of salt
3/4 cup powdered Jaggery
1 tsp of oil


In a pan, add 1 tsp of oil. When hot, add the mustard seeds. When it pops, add the cumin seeds.

Now add the onions and saute for few minutes.

Add the salt and chopped bitter guard. Add some water enough to cook the vegetable.

Add turmeric powder and cook the vegetable.

When the bitter gourd is cooked, add the jaggery powder and mix well.

The Jaggery will melt and form a thin coating on the bitter gourd which reduces the bitterness of the vegetable.

This is a highly healthy and tasty curry which can be used as side dish to any rice variety.


Chop the bitter gourd and put it in salt water for 15 minutes before cooking. This helps in reducing the bitterness from the vegetable.

When chopping bitter gourd if you find the interior to be pinkish, it is obvious that the vegetable is more bitter and however you cook, the bitterness will remain. So if you are new to bitter gourds, do not use bitter gourd with pinkish interior in your cooking.


Homemade Vegetable Pizza

Pizza, the Italian food loved by entire world. When I did my college, Pizza hut and Pizza was very new to me. We friends go out whenever possible to get stuffed with Italian Delicacy. As time passed by, I realized that it contributed a lot to my weight gain. I had to stop eating Pizza for some time. Now, again I have started eating Pizza, but this time I watch what I eat.

Homemade Vegetable Pizza

I have already shared my video on how to make homemade pizza base. That day, I prepared Vegetarian delight and Pineapple delight with the base. Here is the vegetarian delight Pizza recipe.


1 Pizza Base (Check out the video for ingredients and method to prepare the Pizza base)

1 cup vegetables (tomato, green capsicum, black olives,Onions)

1/4 cup Pineapple (optional)

1/2 cup mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup Pizza sauce ( I used Marinara)


After the Pizza base is ready, spread the marinara sauce equally on the base.

Now place the vegetables and pineapples in any order you want.

Add the shredded cheese.

Bake it at 450 degree F for 12 to 15 min.

Allow it to cool for 2 min and serve hot.

The famous Chicken 65 recipe

When I hear the word Chicken 65, I immediately think of the comedy in one of the Indian films where they find its etymology. Its pretty funny when people have the assumptions that chicken 65 got its name because we have to cook 65 chickens!?cool huh!

The famous Chicken 65

Chicken 65 is very famous Indian chicken Appetizer recipe. It is prepared mostly during parties and special occasions. But my husband tried this last weekend just because he was bored. One other chicken recipes from my better half.


2 lbs Chicken-dark meat(boneless thigh meat)
1/2 bunch Coriander leaves-chopped
2 tsp Cornflour
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds,
Pepper powder,
chilli powder,
1 tsp ginger/garlic paste
salt to taste
Few Curry Leaves-chopped
1 Egg
1 tsp Garlic-chopped
1/2 tsp Ginger-chopped
2 tsp Ginger/Garlic paste
4-5 Green Chilli
Oil to fry


Take chicken pieces in a bowl.

Add salt, 1 tsp ginger/garlic paste, pepper powder, cornflour and mix well.

Add 1 egg and mix till the egg coats the meat.

Heat oil in a pan.

Add chicken pieces few at a time and fry until lightly golden brown.

Remove and keep it aside.

To make the sauce:

Heat 2-3 tsp oil in a pan.

Add cumin,chopped ginger and garlic and saute for few seconds.

Add chopped green chillies, curry leaves,1 tsp ginger/garlic paste, a pinch of pepper powder, chilli powder, salt, chilli/garlic paste and mix well.

Cook for a few minutes and then add little water.

Now add fried chicken to this paste and toss lightly and serve hot.


Corn Paratha with Onion Raita - Recipe from a reader

I am very excited. Yes this is my first recipe which I received from one of my readers through the submit a recipe form. This Corn Paratha with Onion Raita recipe is from 'Chinar Pandya'. I am very happy to share the recipe with you all.

Corn Paratha is actually new to me. I have never tried Corn Paratha. After reading the recipe, I feel that it is worth a shot and will try as soon as possible. Do let us know if you have already tried this Corn Paratha.

Ingredients for Corn Paratha:

1 cup sweet corn, boiled(only shred whole beans, don't grate)
1 onion chopped
1 small green chilli
A tiny piece of ginger
Salt to taste
coriander leaves
1 cup Wheat Flour

Ingredients for Onion Raita:

2-3 medium sized onions
1 bowl of Yogurt
10-12 peanuts(fried and powdered)
Sugar and Salt to taste
coriander leaves
2 teaspoons oil
1 tsp cumin seeds


Take boiled corn in a bowl. Add chopped onion,green chilly, grated ginger, salt and coriander leaves.

Put it aside.

Now make paratha dough with flour, and use the above mixture as a stuffing and make parathas out of it.

Take a look at how to make plain paratha recipe, in which I have explained the step by step method of preparing Parathas.

Onion Raita
(I wanted to add a picture so I added my old Raita Picture)

How to make Onion Raita:

Now take Yogurt in a bowl.

Add sugar and salt to taste.

Add peanuts powder just enough to thicken it.

Grate onions and add in the mixture.

Also add coriander leaves.

Now take 2 tsp oil in a pan and heat. Add cumin seeds to it and keep on heat for half a minute.

Let the oil come to room temperature, add the same to cold yogurt.

It tastes best with parathas.

I Thank Chinar Pandya for sharing this recipe with us. Keep them coming!

I request all my readers to make use of the Submit a recipe form and share all your great recipes with us. Please include a picture of your recipe too. It helps us to relate to the recipe.


A Special soup powder (Pepper Powder) reicpe

I learnt this Soup powder from my mother-in-law. She makes a different kind of tomato soup where she adds this powder finally to give a very spice taste. She also use this powder to Cauliflower curry and it makes the cauliflower to taste like chicken. All non vegetarians who want to become vegans or vegetarians can try this powder in few of their recipes to give the taste they have been eating.

Special Soup pepper powder


50g of Pepper corns
100g of Coriander seeds/ Dhaniya
1 1/2 tsp of Sombhu/Fennel Seeds


In a pan, fry all the three together for 2 -3min.

Cool the mixture and grind it to a fine powder.

You can use this for any soup instead of pepper powder and also to currys.


Homemade curryleaf/Kariveppilai powder

Curry Leaf Powder is a very useful powder as far as I am concerned. Why? because it can be used to garnish many side dish recipes. It is simple and easy to make. You can also eat them with white rice by adding a little amount of ghee or with Idly/Dosa. They really taste delicious.

Curry leaf Powder

I used to buy curry leaf powder from shop but nothing could beat my mother's curry leaf powder recipe. So started to prepare it at home. Here I am sharing the homemade curry leaf powder recipe to kindle your taste buds.


1/2 cup Channa dal
1 cup Curry leaves
4-5 Red Chillies
1/2 tsp Fenugreek seeds & cumin seeds, together
1 tsp Oil
1 tbsp pepper corns
Salt to taste
Pinch of Hing


In a pan, add oil and channa dal. Fry until they are brown.

Add the Fenugreek seeds & cumin seeds.

Now add the red chillies, saute.

Add the pepper corns and saute.

Add the curry leaves and mix well.

Note that all the ingredients must be dry before grinding them, so it is suggested to make curry leaves dry by sauteing in mild flame.

Cool the mixture for some time.

Grind it into a fine powder by adding salt and a pinch of hing.

Note: You can store this powder upto 1 week in an air tight container. You can also store it for more days but as the days go by the aroma and the freshness will get reduced.

Foodie Chat - Kopiaste invites Ivy!

Foodie Chat - Kopiaste Ivy
Kopiaste? Not English. Hmm...must be Greek. Kopiaste is the word used to invite people we want to share our food with or when we open our house to friends and invite them to eat. OK. How did I know this? Ofcourse our dear Ivy! I have been visiting her site lately and I have to say she has a great collection of not only Greek cuisine, but also other international cuisines. She is yet another humble and down to earth person I met in this beautiful food blog world. Here she is sharing her views with us.

Why and when did you start blogging?

I started copying three old cooking notebooks I had with recipes on the computer. At the beginning I planned to record my recipes and give my kids a copy to each. Last August I was feeling so bored after our vacations late June - early July that my son, who knew how much I love cooking gave me the idea to interact with people, through a cooking blog, so I started the blog in August, 2007.

Why did you choose Food as a topic to blog?

I love to cook and I love to eat, so it came natural to write about what I like to do the most.

Can you give some tips on time management?

It’s all a matter of organizing your jobs and putting priorities. I plan everything in my mind. I never take notes but know what to do first. I don’t know if this has to do with my Zodiac sign, I’m an Aries but I cannot just do one thing at a time. I do two or three or even four things simultaneously. I do this when I am cooking, I may be cooking and baking and preparing a side dish, all at the same time.

In a day, how many hours you spend blogging?

Lots of hours. I am ashamed to admit it but when I have nothing else to do, I am in front of the screen.

Do you have any other hobbies other than blogging?

I have a few hobbies which however I have been neglecting due to blogging. I don’t seem to find any time for my other hobbies any more. I love reading and taking photos and I also love painting. I have started my painting lessons last week so I shall not blog every day now.

Do you see any change in your blogging habits?

As I said above, I shall not blog every day. Trying to blog every day is a bit stressful so I shall post two or three times a week.

Where do you see your blog 1 year from now?

I have never thought about it but a lot has changed since last year, so I expect something to change within the next year as well, but I cannot imagine what that can be.

What advice do you give to the new comers?

It depends on what the new comers want from blogging. If they expect to write recipes (even if they are writing the best recipes of the whole blogosphere) and just wait for others to visit them while they are relaxing, they should forget about it. Blogging is about giving and taking, so I would advice them if they want to take they must first give. My other advice would be to visit others first, to join Food Communities and participate in as many food events as they can. In other words socialize.

Which is your favorite cuisine and why?

After Greek cuisine, my second choice would be Italian as I could eat pasta every day but I also like French, Indian, Chinese and Mexican cuisines.

What do you feel about recent copyright issues?

I am outraged to see that some people are copying not just a recipe or a photo, but whole blogposts and putting ads to make money out of others’ hard work.

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

I have seen some of my friends complaining about this and when I checked a link they gave, I saw some work of other friend bloggers being copied, so I informed them about it. Personally, I have seen some of my recipes (and I mean recipes I have made out of my mind) copied with no acknowledgment at all. That made me angry.

You are a regular reader of..

Most of my friends’ blogs.

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

We usually exchange e-mails or chat through gmail. With a few we even speak on the telephone, now that phone calls are much cheaper.

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

Before blogging I never used to miss a cooking show on T.V. but now I never watch T.V. The only time I watch T.V. is when I am ironing and always change channels until I find a cooking show. The past week when I was ill I watched a lot of T.V. cooking shows and I liked Rachel Ray and Jamie Oliver shows. Last year there were some Greek cooking shows I used to watch but this year I have not seen anything interesting. I do not have a favourite cookbook. I have a few Greek ones and won two English ones since I started blogging and only made a recipe from them once.

Who/what is your inspiration?

My inspiration is my whole family. I always have in mind to cook something to please them.

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

Yes, I host my own domain. I can’t compare as I have only used one host up to now and that is Blue host. Whenever I needed their help, their online service is great and they are very helpful

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

Well, I started with blogger, which is very easy to learn. I borrowed a book from my son and learned a little about HTML. However, wordpress is quite different and more difficult. I had several technical problems and I asked some other blogger friends who are always willing to help. I have now ordered a book to learn more about php.

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

Yes, they can contact me through e-mail or facebook.

Your achievements as far as blogging is concerned so far.

I am not sure what you mean by achievements but I’ve learned a lot about cooking this past year.

Your Photography secrets.

My photography skills suck. I don’t have a very expensive digital camera and don’t use Photoshop. I always take my photos in a hurry as everyone is sitting at the table waiting to be served and I have to rush and take a quick photo of the dish before it disappears. I have learned by experience that the best photos are those taken with natural lighting.

If given a chance, about which cuisine would you like to learn more? Why?

I would like to learn more about French cuisine. I think it is a very gourmet cuisine.

I know you specialize in Greek cuisine, what would be the right place to start learning about Greek cuisine, culture etc.

I wouldn’t say that I specialize in Greek cuisine but I’ve been cooking Greek food for many years now. Greek cuisine is quite simple and I think what makes it delicious are the ingredients used. The best way to learn would be, of course, by visiting Greece but I know that this is not possible for many of you, so you can start learning about Greek cuisine from Greek bloggers and through our posts I think you can learn a few things about our culture as well.

I take this opportunity to Thank Ivy for her lovely interview, despite her busy schedule. She is now attending her painting classes. Here is her painting blog. Do check out the paintings look divine.

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 Rasam Powder

I recently posted about the tomato rasam. Most of time we end up buying the rasam powder from shops. When in India, it was either from my Mom or from my mom-in-law. Sometimes I feel that being away from them makes me learn stuff that I wouldn't have if I was with them.Hmm..I think it is the case with most of us. Is it not?

Rasam Powder

I have been preparing rasam with this powder for a week now and I must say, it tastes like my mother's. Yey! finally! Here is the homemade rasam powder recipe which I learnt from my mother.


1 cup of Peppercorns
1 cup of cumin seeds
2 1/2 cup of Dhaniya(coriander seeds)
1 cup of toor dhal and channa dal together (optional)


In a pan, fry all the ingredients till they change light brown.

Allow it to cool

Grind them into fine powder in a blender.

You can store them for a month in an air tight container. Use 1 or 2 spoons of this powder in your rasam preparation. I assure your rasam will taste great and smell awesome!


How to Read a Food Label?

We all know that vegetables, fruits, Wheat bread etc are healthy and very good for our body. But it is not the same always. We do not eat only vegetables and fruits. Most of our diet comprises of different variety of food - Frozen, ready to eat dinner, Bottled juices etc. How do we choose these to become a part of our diet? By reading the Food Label.

Are we reading it correctly? I have always had a doubt and most of the time have read the food label wrong. I would like to share the basic tips and techniques to read the food label. As an example I am taking the below food label from

Read a Food Label

The first thing to look for in a food label is the 'Serving Size'. It is the most important number in the Food label. In our example, it is 1 cup i.e. 228g. If you consume this amount of the food, then you will acquire the mentioned calories and other nutrients. If you are a person who consume double the amount, keep in mind that you will consume twice as much of calories and nutrients mentioned in the food label.

The next section covers the Total calories and the amount of calories from Fat. This number is very useful when you are on a Calorie Diet. A normal body requires nearly 2000 calories per day for men and nearly 1500 calories per day for women. You can plan your meal accordingly.

The next section shares the Total Fat, Cholesterol, Sodium, fiber, carbohydrates, potassium,Vitamins etc. This section is very useful when you are on all carbs diet or Fiber rich diet. It helps to calculate the amount of Fiber, Carbs etc intake.

Make sure you limit the intake of Fat, Sodium, Cholesterol as they are considered to be unhealthy. But do not cut on them completely as our body does require a minimum amount of fat, cholesterol and sodium.

Fiber, Iron, Vitamins and Potassium are good for health and is advised that you consume more of them.

Percentage Daily Value, as mentioned is based on a 2000 calorie diet. This value helps us to balance our diet. For example, if you eat a food which has more %daily value for Fat, then you have to compensate by eating a less %daily value food for that day. By this way your diet is balanced and you stay healthy.

The Food Label also has the ingredient list most of the time. These are the list of ingredients that are exactly present on the food product with the largest amount listed first. For example, if the first ingredient in the Cereal is Sugar and the next is grain, then the cereal is probably high in sugar.

Using the food label and your dietitians advice you can plan a balanced meal every day and stay healthy. Consult your doctor and discuss what your everyday meal should consists of and plan accordingly.

Garam Masala - Spice it up!

Garam Masala is a spice which plays an important role in almost all the North Indian recipes and few south Indian recipes. It is a spice powder which is used to add the flavor of the recipe. Garam Masala literally means 'Hot Spice'.

Garam Masala

This again can be prepared in many different ways and mostly we will be following our family recipe and here is my family recipe for Garam Masala Powder.


2 tablespoons cumin seeds
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons cardamom seeds
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg


In a pan, add all the spices and fry them for few minutes until they turn light brown in color and your kitchen is filled with their aroma.

Allow it to cool.

Grind the mixture into a fine powder.

You can store this powder for 1 month in an air tight container.

This powder is used in many of the North Indian side dishes. Here are some of the recipes which uses Garam masala in their preperation.


Authentic Tomato Rasam Recipe

Rasam contributes to the basic South Indian Meals. It is a tamarind sauce which is prepared with different variations making it taste completely different every time. Tomato Rasam is one of the most famous form of Rasam. It will be served in all the South Indian Functions, Marriages.


Milagu Rasam which is made from Tamarind and Pepper is considered to be medicinal and is usually consumed by people suffering from cold and fever. Garlic Rasam is also medicinal and I personally love this recipe. But today, I am sharing Tomato Rasam Recipe with you.

Ingredients: (For 2 people)

1 cup Tamarind juice
1/2 cup of cooked Toor dhal
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 cup tomatoes chopped
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp Rasam Powder
2 dry red chillies
1/4 cup of finely chopped cilantro
1 tsp oil
salt to taste
1 tsp Hing powder


Pressure cook the toor dhal for 2 hisses, by adding enough water and a pinch of turmeric. Mash the mixture.

In a pan, add oil, mustard seeds. When the seeds pops, add the hing powder.

Now add the tomatoes, Saute.

Add the tamarind juice. Cook for few minutes.

Now add the cooked Toor dhal, Rasam powder, red chillies,salt.

Bring it to a boil.

Finally add chopped cilantro. Serve hot with rice. It can also be consumed like a soup.

Potato goes very well with Rasam Rice. You can also eat it with Papad.

Sambhar Vada

This is a very famous Breakfast recipe in South India. The very thought of this recipe makes me drool. Generally it is the Medu vada soaked in Sambhar, a tangy tamarind sauce. But the Sambhar which is used for this recipe is slightly different from the Sambhar we prepare to eat with rice. It tastes different and more saucy.

Any South Indian Hotels will have this in their menu card and the very sight of this recipe makes you go glutton. Here is the Medu Vada recipe. Now for the Sambhar in which it is soaked.

Sambhar Vada


1 cup Onions,Finely chopped
1/2 cup Toor Dal/Red gram Dal
1 cup tamarind juice
2 Tomatoes, sliced
Small bunch of Coriander leaves, Chopped finely
2 tsp Oil
Salt to taste
1 tsp Mustard
1/4 tsp Hing/Asafetida
Few curry leaves

To Roast & Grind:

2 tsp Dhania/Coriander Seeds
11/2 tsp Urad Dal/Black gram Dal
1 tsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
2 tsp Channa/Bengal gram Dal
4-5 Red Chillies
1/2 tsp Fenugreek Seeds
1/4 cup of Grated Coconut
2 tsp of oil


Heat the Oil and fry the 'Ingredients to Roast & Grind' until golden.

Grind to a smooth paste.

Heat Oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. When the seeds pops add hing and cumin seeds and curry leaves.

Now add the onions and and fry for 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the Tomatoes and mix well.

Add enough water and cook it till soft.

Cook red gram dal in pressure cooker and mash well.

Add mashed dal, tamarind extract, and ground paste with salt and enough water to the cooking onions and tomato mixture and bring it to boil.

You can also serve this sambhar with Idly/Dosa.

Soak the vadas for 10 minutes and then serve.


The famous Potato/Aloo Curry

Potato is the ONE vegetable which is loved by everyone. God has blessed this vegetable, that it tastes delicious however we cook it. Even an amateur cook will prepare a scrumptious potato recipe. Kids go glutton over this vegetable. I love Potato curry with Rasam (A tamarind Sauce) Rice. It tastes yummy!

Potato curry

This is a basic South Indian way of preparing Potato as a side dish. It is very simple and tastes great. This curry goes well with any rice variety or even as a side dish for chapati/Roti.

Ingredients : (For 2 people)

4 medium Potatoes
1 cup finely chopped onions
1/2 cup finely chopped tomato
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp chilli powder
1 tbsp oil
3-4 garlic flakes, crushed
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
Salt to taste
A pinch of Hing powder
Few curry leaves.


Cut the Potatoes into small cubes. Pressure cook the Potatoes and peel them.

In a pan, add oil. Add mustard seeds. When they pop add the Hing powder and cumin seeds.

Add curry leaves.

Now add the chopped onions and saute them till they are light brown in colour.

Now add the chopped tomatoes. Saute them.

Add the spices(chilli,cumin,coriander,turmeric powders) and 1/2 cup of water.

Cook until the tomatoes are mashed.

Now add the boiled potatoes and mix well with the masala.

Cook for 2 min and serve hot.