Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Microwave Roasted Potatoes with Herbs

With so much of potatoes that my brother got us, it was natural that I find different ways to use up those spuds. They were sprouting already and I was in a haste to use it up. After making those chips, seeing how much the kids loved it, I wanted to store them for a long time. Imagine my bad luck that somehow one important step in making the chips stay for longer shelf life, was overlooked. This was my first kitchen failure and I was badly affected. I have been upset over this for the last two days. Never imagined that I would be affected so much. One reason would be that my brother got it all the way and second would be that the kids loved the potatoes chips so much, third would be facing a failure and accepting is always such a hard lesson to learn!

Anyway certain things just happen, no reasons to explain why. I thought I should just move on. Athamma had stored some potatoes for making a gravy and I ended up making something else. So I had that share on hand and decided to bake some in microwave. As you know I always microwave the potatoes, instead of using pressure cooker. It's such a time saving, fuel saving method. So I thought baking them in microwave would be a great option. To make it even better, I baked it in butter and some spices. It was very delicious to say the least. While this didn't mitigate the pain I feel every time I remember my whole lot of potato chips that might go down the drain, this dish surely ends up being very satisfying.

Sending these to Lavanya who is hosting the MEC this month themed on Party Appetizers.

Ingredients Needed:

Potatoes - 5 medium
Butter - 2 tsp
Salt to taste
Pepper powder - 1 tsp (as per taste)
Herb Mix - I used Thyme, you can mix in rosemary, Oregano. anything that you have on hand.

Method to prepare:

Wash and cube potatoes into 1 inch pieces.

In a microwave safe bowl, add butter and the cubed potatoes. Toss well. Microwave for 10 mins.

After 5 mins, open and toss again. Sprinkle the salt and pepper and other spices you are going to add.

Microwave again for remaining time.

Tastes great as an appetizer and very quick to make if you plan for a party.

Enjoy as a side dish too!
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Saturday, June 25, 2011

How to make Homemade Potato Chips | Step by Step Recipe to make Potato Chips at home

You can't stop with just one! I am sure you agree to that when it comes to potato chips or wafers. Especially when it is something you made at home. After pizza, burgers and cakes, these potato wafers or chips are something I enjoyed making at home during my college days.

I remember those days making tons and tons of these wafers at home, only to be disappeared within minutes. Then there were the days with French fries. Endless days of frying those thin crunchy fries, dipped into sauce was pure bliss. My brother got loads of potatoes that we have use up fast.

I remembered those chips that I used to make and wanted to make right away. Dad had got a mandolin for Amma which used to cut super thin slices and french fries. Amma gave it away without realizing. I thought I could use a similar grater and used the multi grater and slicer.

I knew if I don't click pictures right away I may not get even one for the pictures.

Step by Step Pictures

Ingredients Needed:

Potatoes - 4 medium
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying.

Method to prepare:

Wash and peel the skin from the potatoes.

Using the slicer, slice the potatoes into thin slices. Soak them in water until you fry them. Else it will turn brown.

Heat a pan with oil. When the oil is hot, pat down the slices on a cloth and gently drop them in hot oil.

Drain them on a kitchen towel. Sprinkle salt when it is still hot.

Enjoy as a snack!

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Stuffed Bitter Gourd Recipe | Gutti Kakarakaya | Stuffed Karela with Step by Step Recipe

I am not a person who likes Bitter gourd or karela. But when you find that your family likes this vegetable, you will have find different ways to make this frequently. Hubby dear and Athamma loves bitter gourd in any form. I find myself making a saute of this vegetable and I remember that Kakarakayya kura was also quite frequent dish some years ago. I really wonder how and why we stopped making that dish these days.

This Spicy bitter gourd or stuffed karela recipe that I made a while ago, was surely different and very delicious, if I say it myself. I took it for office and my colleagues liked it very much too.
Stuffed Karela
School reopened for the boys today and we felt so bad for them as they had to get up early to get ready. The month long vacation surely had it's effect. I somehow managed to pack them something that they nodded their head, it surely made me realize that I should get some sort of planning to be done.

Step by Step pictures for making Stuffed Karela
Wash and trim the sides
Boil the bitter gourds in a mix of turmeric, curds and salt.
The ingredients for the stuffing. To be ground into paste.
 Fry in a non stick pan until done.
It takes 5 - 6 mins for frying the masala.
The cooked bitter gourds are left to cool down.
Remove the seeds inside
Stuff with the masala
 Roast the bitter gourds in hot pan again.
Fry these stuffed karela again in oil until it is browned on all sides.

Spicy bitter guard or stuffed karela recipe


For boiling Karela

Small bitter gourds / Karela - 3 cups (must have been 300 gms)
Turmeric powder a pinch
Curds / Yogurt - 1 cups
Lemon juice - 1 tsp
Salt a pinch

For the stuffing

Roasted Groundnut/ peanuts - 1/4 cup
Kopra / Dry Coconut - 1/4 cup
Sesame seeds / Til - 2 tsp
Whole dry Red chillies - 4
Salt to taste
Oil - 3 tsp
Cumin seeds/ Jeera - 2 tsp
Garlic - 4 cloves
Onions - 1 big

Coriander leaves for garnish

Method to prepare:

To cook the Bitter gourd.

Wash and trim the Karelas.

Trim on both sides of Karela without cutting in between.

Boil them in sour curd adding with salt, lemon juice, turmeric for 5 minutes. Keep it aside for it to cool down. Squeeze out the seeds from inside.

To make the masala:

Grind onion, red chillies, groundnuts, sesame seeds, salt, coconut and garlic coarsely.

Heat a pan with oil and fry the ground paste till it gets fine aromatic flavour. Remove from the oil.

Stuff the prepared masala in each karela evenly.

Ensure that each karela is stuffed properly.

To make the stuffed Karela

Place them one by one in the same hot oil and fry them on low heat to golden crispy brown.

Turn them gently without splitting inside masala.

Garnish with coriander leaves

This can be served hot with plain rice or with Sambar rice.

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Friday, June 17, 2011

How to make Paneer | Making Indian Cottage Cheese at home ~ Quick Recipe

If you ask me what's the most frequent dish that gets prepare in our kitchen these days, without a hesitation the answer will be paneer! Ever since Athamma started making Paneer herself, she ends up making it pretty often. Plus with the weather aiding us, we really don't have to wait to spoil it, it gets spoiled itself and we end up making Paneer at home very often. I have already posted how to make paneer way back in 2008, but this method improvises on the other.

Hubby dear finally said enough of Paneer Butter Masala or anything paneer with the frequent entry of this dish on the table. So Athamma resorted to Paneer Pakora or Paneer 65 or whatever other innovations she can come up with. We don't have to worry about the Paneer not getting consumed. Konda loves it in any form. And you give her those tikkas, pakoras, she is very happy.

Her school reopened this week and I have been happy that I have managed to pack filling breakfast and lunch. Imagine my surprise when the first day Athamma called up to say Konda has not come in at the usual time. I called up and was told that since she is now in a higher class, the timing is increased with more subjects. But I realized that she will end up coming home very hungry. And next week school reopens for boys too. So you can expect me to be busy with planning menus again.

Coming back to this Paneer business, I once saw Paneer made to set very quickly by using Corn flour. I have been ever since wanting to try it. Finally I came around making a quick batch of Paneer by kneading method as followed in the Eastern part of India.

I sometimes make Spiced Paneer for making Paneer Tikka, by mixing in spices like crushed peppercorn, Red chili flakes, Coriander leaves and Mint leaves. It tastes great for making Tikkas. That reminds that I haven't posted it yet. But then it's a simple process. Before you set the Paneer, you can just add all the spices you need and set as normally method.

Thanks to Sharmila for the idea of getting Paneer set and used within 30 mins. Normal process takes more time for setting especially if you want nice cubes.

Follow the same method of curdling milk using either Lime Juice / Vinegar / Sour Curds.

You require

Milk - 1 liter
Ripe Lemon/Lime Juice - 1 full
Cornflour - 1 tsp
Pinch of salt.

Follow the same steps to make paneer at home

 Strain it over muslin cloth, allow it cool.
Take the chhena in a bowl, add about 1 tsp of corn flour, a pinch of salt and knead well.
  It forms a nice smooth dough.

Press it on a square plate or a cup. Freeze it for 10 - 15 mins or refrigerate for 30 mins.

Remove, cut into cubes, sauté in butter or ghee before adding to the gravy.

This method makes the whole process so simple that you really don't have to wait for long for your paneer to set.

I might come up with a dish featuring this paneer or something else..:)

Happy weekends!

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Monday, June 13, 2011

Tawa Naan Recipe | Making Naan on Tawa - Step by Step Recipe

When I baked a Naan sometime back, I realized that I actually make the Naans couple of ways. So thought that recording all the different ways to make a naan will be interesting. If you have been reading this blog you may know that I am great fan of Naan and Paneer Butter Masala. This is what I order each time I eat at a restaurant. I don't think I can ever get bored of the duo or the different versions I can count that I have enjoyed by now.

I think I started making Nan at home almost ever since I started baking Pizzas. Since we don't have a tandoori oven, it was naturally that I had to find an alternate method. I have been making on the Pressure cooker bottom or even the tilted tawa method for over a decade now. And what's surprising is the fact that the Naan dough is almost the same as Pizza dough or at least that's how I have been making it. Wonder how the best dishes I like are almost the same. 

Anyway I used to enjoy the feedback my Naans used to get and one particular conversation comes to mind. It was during dining in our club restaurant when the waiter happen to mention that their Naans come out best and nobody can replicate it at home. Konda immediate response was that I make yummier Naans and Paneer Butter Masala. He was not ready to accept and said Naan would require egg to be added for the soft texture to come etc, knowing well that I don't eat egg. Anyway I said I didn't want to argue on whose recipe is best. I would rather enjoy their restaurant Naans myself.

When I think of the recipe, I keep changing the ingredients myself most times. I have used curds, butter, milk at varying proportions to get the best texture. Each it does turn out very well. So I guess it depends on how and when you make it.

3 Ways of Making Naan at Home
Baked Naans
Stove top Naans Recipe 1
Stove top Naans Recipe 2

And this is the third method!
For step by step pictures of kneading the dough, please refer Baked Naans

Once you ready with the naan dough, pinch out small balls. Dust well and roll out as oval shaped disc
Heat a tawa or griddle. Place the rolled out naan / griddle/ skillet
Cook on one side, you will see the naan puffing up.
See how nicely it has puffed up!
Flip to the other side and continue cooking.
Turn over again and remove.

Smear butter right away on the hot Naan.

Tawa Naan | Making Naan on Tawa

Preparation Time : 15 mins
Resting Time : 1 -2 hrs
Cooking time : 2 -3 mins per Naan

Ingredients Needed:

All purpose flour / Maida - 2 cups
Dry Yeast - 1/2 tsp
Sugar - 1 tsp
Curds - 1 tbsp
Butter - 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Water as required.

Method to prepare:

Proofing the Yeast:
Take the yeast in a cup; add the sugar and warm water. Cover with lid. After 10 minutes you will see all frothy texture on the top, don’t disturb. Keep it aside. This shows that yeast is still active.

In a wide bowl, take the flour, add the yeast mix. Then add the salt. butter and curds. Crumble well.  Slowly knead to soft pliable dough using water as required. Punch it well for couple of minutes.

Cover with a wet muslin cloth and keep it in a warm place for 1 -2 hrs. Once done, remove the cover, punch it down again. For making on tawa you need not wait for 2 hrs, the dough gets ready by 30 - 40 mins max.

When you are ready to make,  get the tawa on stove.

Divide the dough into small balls, dust it in flour. Roll them into oval shapes.

Make couple of them all rolled out by the time the tawa gets heated up.

Place the rolled out Naan on the tawa. Cook on high flame. You will see the Naan puffing up. Gently flip to the other side. The Naan puffs up on both sides.

Remove and quickly apply butter over the top.

Note: It is enough to cook on the tawa for the naan to be done well. If you want those classic black spots on the top, you can put the cooked naans on direct flame using a tong. This way your naan will have those traditional brown/black spots on top.

Serve this with Paneer Butter Masala or even Low Cal Paneer Butter Masala in Microwave

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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Announcing Sandwich Mela

After the fantastic fabulous Breakfast Mela, I couldn't get myself rest without announcing the next mela. I know I was missing the melas myself. And promise to make more for the mela this time round. So how does Sandwich sound to you? Those tasty quick bites or something elaborate? Whatever be it, I love sandwiches. But for a change I thought I should include anything that fits the meaning.

Well by that I mean, you can literally sandwich anything in between and it need not be bread slices. I have read about Idliwich, Dosawich, doesn't that sound interesting! Another wonderful example will be cream biscuits, with the biscuits sandwiching the cream. So entries can be made with Bread slices, buns, biscuits or whatever innovation you want to come up with. Ground rule is, you just got to sandwich something in between.

For  more ideas on Sandwich fillings, check out my post on Sandwich Filling Ideas on Spice your Life

So from now till July 20th 2011, post any dish that you can call a sandwich on your blog. It can be sweet or savory. It can be served for breakfast, a meal by itself or as a dessert. The dish can be of any cuisine, both Veg and Non Veg accepted.

Link back to this announcement and send me your entries to cooking4allseasons@gmail.com with subject as Sandwich Mela. I will be happy if you use the logo.

I will try to leave a comment within couple of days, or atleast before the round up..:)

Multiple entries are accepted, infact would be glad to get all different dishes that you have already posted. But please update the post with this announcement post link. This is the least I can expect, but do not link all your archive posts in one post.

The email can be in this format

Subject: Sandwich Mela

Post URL
Recipe Name
Picture of your dish.

Last date to send in your entries will be July 20th 2011.

I hope you will enjoy participating in this event and make it a success.


Sandwich Mela Part 1
Sandwich Mela Part 2

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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Breakfast Mela ~ Round up 4

Finally we come to the fourth part of the mega Breakfast Mela and we are now counting at 226 entries! That and including my own list of Breakfast Index, I am sure you will have enough on hands to make for many days to come.

I would like to a special mention of those energetic bloggers who always send me in tons. What would I do without them! So thank you all for your multiple entries, you surely made my day!

The finally recap is all about steamed dishes mostly, and then quick ones too. So check out yourself.


First batch of steamed dishes come with a variety of options.

Anamika Arun's Microwave Dhokla
Mugdha's Chunchi Patra Pitha
Rinku Naveen's Ela Ada & Idiappam - Noolputtu
Vidya N's Mangalore Undi

Nutan Dodbele's Steamed Kadabu
Rekha's Idiyappam
Shylaja's Uppuma Kozhukattai
Vardhini Koushik's Pidi Kozhukattai


Then we have 10 different ways of making Idlis, the most famous breakfast from South!

Aarthi's Chilli Idli
Champa's Grits Idli
Chitra and Dibs's Kancheepuran idly
Harini Shrinivas's Vegetable Rava Idly
Harini-Jaya's Cornmeal Idli & Instant Oats Idli

Kalyani's Kanjivaram Idli
Priya Suresh's Instant Coriander Oats Rava Idli
Radhika's Rava Semiya Idli
Suparna's Mallige Idli

Then we have an array of dishes from a Tamil blogger Jaleelakamal, who was kind enough to send me her huge collection of breakfast dishes, since the blog is written in Tamil, you can turn on the translation!

Jaleelakamal's Chicken sandwich, Tuitti Fruity Pancake, Bombay Toast, Mini Punjabi puri aloo red channa masala, Coriander kuzipaniyaram, Coconut rice balls with jaggery, Masala Dosa, Red Rice Puttu, Sasuage Sandwich
For all who haste to add you dislike Upmas, you ought to check out this section. So many to choose that I am sure you won't say no for these.

Aarthi's Upma & Spicy vermicelli Upma
Binitha Shajesh's Sabudana Khichdi
Jay's Bread Upma
Krithi's Bread Upma, Couscous Upma, Moong dhal Upma, Poha Upma, Sago Kitchdi
Laxmi Priya's Kitchadi

Mugdha's Sooji/Rava Upma
Padma Dharmaraj's Jonna Pindi Upma
Sobha Shyam's Pasta Upma
Suma Gandlur's Quinoa - Mixed Vegetable Upma
Nirmala Gurunathan's Sabudana kichedi

And finally few fusions and few different dishes, all served for breakfast and I am sure you will love these too!

Aanamika Arun's Quesadilla
Aarthi's Stir-fry spaghetti
Deepika Jain's Bread and vegetable rolls

Priyanka's Indian style perogies
Vaishnavi Chougule's Veggi Pasta

Check out the previous round ups

Breakfast Mela Part 1
Breakfast Mela Part 2
Breakfast Mela Part 3

As I said with so many entries, there are chances that I might have missed something, if so, my sincere apologies. Do mail me, I will update asap.

I am happy to say that the next Mela will be soon announced.

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Breakfast Mela ~ Round up 3

After the Breakfast Mela Part 1 & Part 2, now comes the third part which features dishes made with Rice, then rotis and finally Sandwiches.

I am sure you will have countless choice to choose from for your breakfast if you plan to make any of these three.


Dishes made from Rice

Aarthi's Aloo poha
Akheela's Rice pudding
Anamika Arun's Kanda Poha
Harini Shrinivas's Ven Pongal
Latha's Methi Capsicum Rice
Nivedita Thadani's Chapati Poha, Mix Veg Poha

Padma Dharmaraj's Green Moong Kuzhi Paniyaram
Prathibha's Mosaru Kodubale/Curd Kodbale
Sukanya Thalpati's Sweet Poha
Suparna's Sweet Appe & Savory Appe
Vaishali Sabnani's Damat Poha, Rice Noodles/Sticks with Veggies & Ven Pongal

The different varieties of Rotis that came from all the innovative bloggers is simply mind blowing!

Krithi's Dhal Chapathi
Jaisy's Battura
Latha's Akki Rotti
Lavanya Selvaraj's Aloo Parotta
Mugdha Mohanty's Tomato Paratha
Neetu Srivastava's Ricotta Cheese Paratha
Nivedita Thadani's Thaali peeth- Masala Rotti, & 4 ways to make Methi Paratha

PJ's Masala Buckwheat chapathi
Prathibha's Mysore Masala Chapati
Priya Suresh's Toordal Paratha & Ragi Quinoa Methi Paratha
Shobha's Seyala Maani & Sindhi Koki
Soujanya's Kobbari rotti
Vaishali Sabnani's Koki, Theplee, Do Pad ka Mattar ka Paratha , & Hara Samosa
Vaishnavi Chougule's Aloo Paratha, Methi Paratha & Paneer Paratha
Vidya N's Akki Ragi rotti

and finally from me Sweet Potato Paratha

Now for a quick bite, you got to check out these sandwiches

Anamika Arun's Vada pav & Bread Rolls
Monika's Happy Sandwiches
Paaka shaale's Spinach and corn sandwich
Suma Gandlur's Bread - Semolina Sandwich

Supriya's Omelet Sandwich
Vaishali Sabnani's Bean Burger & Chutney Toastie

and finally from me an Indian style sandwich with Kidney Bean


I hope you enjoyed this round up, come for the final part which should happen shortly!

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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Breakfast Mela ~ Round up 2

After the delicious feast from the Breakfast Mela's Round up Part 1, now comes another wonderful spread of Dosas, Pancakes, Crepes and Adadis. I love Dosas and its only natural that I would want to dedicate a separate part for this alone. We have about 60 different recipes to choose from!

I wanted to category again on instant and regular. But I thought for the efforts everybody has put in, I should make it easy for you to check the easy ones fast..:) So please do spend some time check everybody and making them at home. I am sure with 60 different ideas for Dosas we can relax for a while.


These are dosas made with regular batter, instant, lentils and many with different flours. Innovation shown by each of the blogger is amazing!

Aarthi's Mysore Masala Dosa, Onion Uttapam, Spicy Masala Dosa

Ankita's Lemon Coriander Dosa
Binitha Shajesh's Velleppam/ Appam
Chithra's Masala Wheat Dosa
Chitra and Dibs's Kal Dosai
Denny's Ragi Kaara dosa
Divya Kudua's Ragi Neer Dosa

Ganga Sivanathan's Coconut Dosa
Harini-Jaya's Barley Dosa, Barley Quinoa Urad Dosa, Instant Cornmeal Rava Dosa, Jowar Dosa

Jayasree Satish's Rava Dosa
Kalyani's Healthy Oats Dosa
Kaveri's Set Dosai
Lavanya Selvaraj's Adai - A protein rich breakfast
Mandira's Eggless Omelet
Mugdha's Atta Chakuli

Nisha's    Mixed flour Thalipeeth
Nutan Dodbele's    Neer Dosa
PJ's Kollu Dosai - Horsegram crepes
Prathibha's Davanagere Benne Dosa
Priya Suresh's Eggless Pineapple Cornmeal Pancakes, Greengram & Pearlmillet Cone Dosa, Quinoa Mixed Dals Dosa
R S's Instant Oats Dosa
Raksha's Eggless Tomato Omelette
Ruchi's Rava Uttapam - Savory Pancake

Sadhana's 4 Lentil Adai
Shobha's Mixed Dals and Flaxseeds Cheela
Sobha Shyam's Eggless Dates Pancakes
Soujanya's Uthappam
Suma Gandlur's Multi Grain - Legume Crepes
Supriya's Eggless Omelets
Vaishali Sabnani's Moong Daal Paneer Cheela
Vaishnavi Chougule's Cucumber Dosa, Masala Dosa

and finally from me Ganji Dosa with Uli Karam, Aloo Masala

Now comes the pancakes with different flavours, taste, fruits. All of them using Eggs

Aarthi's Cheesy Egg Sandwich, French Toast and Crepes Roll stuffed with Egg, Nutella, Veg,
Champa's Pancakes with Homemade syrup
Chithra's Mushroom Egg Toast
Denny's German Pancake - Dutch Oven Pancake
Jabeen's Banana Pancakes
Krithi's Quinoa Savory Pancakes
Mythreyi's Pink Pancakes

Nivedita Thadani's Nutty Egg Omelet
Rituparna's Cornmeal Pancakes

Shobha's Bread &Egg pancakes, French Toast Fusion
Shruti Srivastava's Veggy Egg Surprize
Sonia's Banana Crepe Recipe
Susan's Çilbir
Tadka Pasta's A Colorful Eggsperiment


Have a great time exploring these entries and come back for another dose soon.
Breakfast Mela Part 1 
Breakfast Mela Part 3

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