Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sesame ~ Ellu Chikki Laddu | Ganesh Chaturthi Recipes

We will be celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi / Vinayaka Chaturthi on September 1st this year. Just as last year, I thought I should update the recipe list and share the previous years celebrations.

Check out our celebrations that I have been sharing the last three years

Vinayaka Chaturthi Pooja 2007
Vinayaka Chaturthi Pooja 2008
Vinayaka Chaturthi Pooja 2009
Vinayaka Chaturthi Pooja 2010

I thought I should post some recipes that were waiting to be posted. We normally make Sesame laddos. We also made Chikki with them for last year.

Sesame Seeds Jaggary Brittles | Ellu Chikki.

Only we shaped them as laddos.

Black Sesame seeds - 1/2 cup
Jaggary - 1/2 cup

How to make:

Wash and dry the black Sesame seeds in shade. Then dry roast them for few seconds. Make sure you don't do it for more than few minutes, this is just to make sure it's dry.

Melt the jaggary in a bowl, remove impuries if any.

Bring to boil and continue cooking till you get a thread consistency.

Add the roasted sesame to the bowl and stir well. It will start to form a thick mix, remove down.

Have a bowl of water near by, quickly take small balls of the mix and form laddos. Please take care as it will be hot, you can allow it to cool for sometime.

Vinayaka Chaturthi Festival Dishes


Kobbari Kudumulu ~ Steamed Modak with Coconut Stuffing
Pappulu Kajjikayalu ~ Pappulu Karjikayalu
Nugul untallu ~Sesame Laddoo

Biyam Undrallu
Groundnut Laddos 
Pidi Kolukattai Sweet
Pidi Kozhukattai Salt
Saggubiyam Payasam ~ Sago Porridge
Chana Dal Payasam / Kadalai Paruppu Payasam / Sanaga Pappu Payasam

Check out other Indian Sweets for more ideas

Amma and Athamma got together to plan for this year too. They have been 
asking me what I plan to make new for this year along with most of the above.

Above all we might take the kids to get Ganesh Idol home, so it will be great fun!

Happy Ganesh Chaturthi, and enjoy the festival!

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Friday, August 26, 2011

Aloo Paneer Kofta Curry Recipe ~ Weekend Cooking!

Last weekend when I made the Tomato Pulao in microwave, I was thinking what should be done as the side dish for the pulao. Hubby dear doesn't like just Onion raitha being served along with the pulaos as they hardly ever spicy. So a spicy gravy is what he expects most times. Normally with the ground masala that we make for the tomato pulao, we make cauliflower curry. But this time thought should make something different.

Amma had made this Koftas with Aloo and Paneer. The curry made a great pair with the tomato pulao. I was sure it would have been ever more delicious if you were to serve this with Naans or even plain rotis. Try this for this weekend, I am sure you will love it!

Saturday is going to be an off and I already have fully packed plans. With the Blogging Marathon getting into its final few days, I still have one more dish to make for the final day. I am sure I will finalise by tomorrow.

Now let's get to the recipe!

Aloo Paneer Kofta Curry

For the Koftas
Paneer  1/2 cup
Aloo - 2 medium
Maida - 2 tbsp
Green Chilies - 1
Red Chili powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying

For the gravy

Onion paste - 1/2 cup
Ginger Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Tomato puree - 1 cup
Chili powder - 1 tsp
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
Curds - 25 gms / 1.4 cup
Cashewnut paste - 10 nos
Salt to taste
Oil - 2 tsp

How to make the Koftas

When you make the paneer, it's better if you don't try to make a cube out of it. Just store it as such, since you will anyway need to crumble it for the koftas.

Take everything in a bowl, mix well. The maida and aloo should hold the mix well. Shape them into balls and deep fry, Keep it aside.

How to make the Gravy:

Heat a non stick pan with oil. Add the onion paste, saute well. Then add the ginger garlic paste. Keep stirring till the mix is well cooked.

Then add the tomato puree, and chili powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder, garam masala and salt. Simmer till the tomato is well cooked. Simmer and add beaten curds. Make sure to quickly mix everything.

Finally when the tomato sauce is well cooked, takes about 10 mins, add the cashew nut paste.

Simmer for couple of mins.

Finally add chopped coriander.

How to serve the Aloo Paneer Kofta Curry.

Place the fried koftas in a bowl, pour hot sauce over it and serve right away.
Notes: If you are not planning to eat the dish right away, it makes sense not to add the koftas as it will absorb all the sauces. Just before serving, heat the sauce again, if required, pour over the koftas to serve with Rice or roti.

Have a great weekend!

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Happy Krishna Jayanthi / Janmashtami

Happy Krishna Jayanthi / Janmashtami to all my readers!

Janmashtami has been a two day affair this year. Yesterday being sunday we are not in the usual Krishna Jayanthi celebration mood which normally means dressing up the kids as Krishna and Balarama and imprinting the Lord's feet. I made Atukula Payasam / Beaten Rice Payasam yesterday and totally forgot that Athamma and Amma wanted to celebrate this evening. When I came back from office, I saw both Peddu, Chinnu all dressed with Vishnu Namam and all set for the celebrations.

Amma had made Murukus and Bellam Murukulu, while Athamma made some other sweet with rice dumplings. Now that I remember I know it's funny that I have not posted Aval Payasam, but I guess it's very simple for anybody to make it..:)

Seeing this always make me nostalgic as I love that Lord Krishna's idol seen in the above picture. Amma always offer this idol the neivedyam on Krishna jayanthi. I have been having this idol since my teens and is made of pure sandalwood. And always brings back fond childhood memories.

Neivedyam for Lord Krishna ~ Jantikalu or Muruku, Aval Payasam, Manoharam (different recipe)
Lord Krishna coming into the home...

I didn't deck up the boys in the traditional dress, but they sure had the Namam which looked so pretty on them.

Will be back with recipes later.

Hope everybody had a great celebrations today!

Krishna Jayanthi 2007
Krishna Jayanthi 2010

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

In trail of a spice! - Food Memoirs and some ~ Dry Egg Masala

Dear Readers,

This is a humble attempt at writing Food Memoirs and some, mostly dramatized for the effect. Since my Cookbook project is on hold for a while, I couldn't give up the wish to write something on the lines of a food memoir. I tend to take advantage of my poetic license and twist an incident to suit the story.

"In trail of a spice!"- typically symbolizes the eternal trail after something in life. In pursuit of something that always seem to elude one. And without spice, there is no zing in life. In essence "In trail of a spice!" is the characters' journey through their life, trying to find their own meaning in this walk of life.

These are reflections of every day drama of ordinary people leading extraordinary life. They are here to share their passion, laughs, the highs and lows that life takes them through.

It's about Maya and Dev and their three children and their extended family, their memories of childhood with its laughter, the joy, the sorrow and their memories of pet dogs.

Disclaimer: This is purely a work of fiction, based scantly on real incidents. After all our everyday life is always full of inspiration for a work of art.


The sudden sizzling on the pan, made her look up. The pan was getting hot, and she was busy chopping the onions. Her husband Dev was musing over the turn of events during his evening meeting. He can get quite amused at things that are funny in his books. But her husband's animated talk can wait, while she makes sure she meets the challenge he threw at her. She can never say no to a challenge.

He was supposed to eat at the meeting. He left because he couldn't stomach the sight of his fellow attendees, piling up samosas with ice cream, then drinking tea, coffee and then on top went ahead with pastries. He walked out hoping none see him leave. In his haste to leave, he didn't call to inform he will be home for dinner. Half past nine is not exactly a time for binge nor any innovative cooking.

Stepping in, he saw the kids having a riot and the wife trying to get some work done midst it. One look at him, Maya knew he didn't have his dinner, but he was reluctant to get her working at that time. Said fifteen minutes was the max he can wait, so Maya took it up as a challenge to give him a meal in exactly that time. She had almost settled to a no work night, with the kids eating their favorite Maggi and MIL eating the leftovers from the afternoon meal. Still rustling a quick dinner was not a big task.

She set the pan on the stove and went about getting other things she needed. Kids would occasionally peep in to see what their parents were doing. They were always curious and never let the parents alone for a moment.

Dev said he was fine with some eggs tossed around with spices. Maya remembered the Egg Burji, from her childhood. A more simpler dish you can't really get, with just onions, eggs and some spices and you have the most tantazling dish ready! It's funny she has never made that in years. In the early years of marriage, when she first started cooking, it was one of the dishes she offered to cook for him. He refused saying he got aversion to it. So it was never made at home, which is a crime, because her kids will never have the same memories as she has of that dish.

So she was not making Anday ki Burji, but rather Anday Ki Sukhi Subji or what she christen as Dry Egg Masala. After all a dish needs to have a name right!

She interrupted him in between to remind him that she was meeting her school friends the next day for lunch. She was excited about the meet. Couple of them whom she is going to meet after 18 years, while she met couple of them a year ago. Even as she was telling him, she remembered the time she finally met them last year. They were no longer in their mid 30s. It felt they were back in their early teens, remembering the hungamma they had, the masti, fun filled life they led. It felt strange to suddenly see their kids coming to interrupt their talks.

With all these thoughts running around in her mind, she was concentrating on the task at hand. She has to make chapatis and the subji and a wandering mind is not really suitable for that.

Step by Step picture Recipe

She quickly set about doing the steps as fast as she could. Her stove with four burners is a real boon. Most times all 3 will be used. It always helps to have few things ready at hand to prepare quick meals and she makes sure she has them ready.

With the expertise she has over making quick meals in the morning, she took the took the eggs and put them in a pan to boil. Covered with a lid to make sure the water starts boiling quickly. This takes about 10 mins to get the little over hard boiled eggs.

On the second burner was the non stick pan for the subji, she added a tsp of oil, then she quickly added one big onions that were roughly chopped, julienne are perfectly fine. They give the curry a distinct classy look. Simmer for couple mins.

Next comes the atta for making the dough for the rotis. Take a cup of atta in a bowl. Add salt. 

Increase the flame of the pan to high, keep sauteing. Add half a tsp of ginger garlic paste and mix well. This is where your ready to use homemade ginger garlic paste comes handy, she thought!

Keep stirring so that the onions are nicely coated with the ginger garlic paste. Keep cooking on high, stirring every other min. Onions will have to have that slightly burnt look. But she was making sure not to burn it more than required.

While it's getting done, take two medium sized tomatoes, chop them roughly again. Add to the sizzling pan along with turmeric and salt. Toss everything together and let it cook. Let it turn muchy.

Add chili powder, coriander powder, mix everything. This takes about 5 mins. At this stage she simmered the flame and covered it with lid.

She knew that the masala might get burnt at this stage when cooking on high flame, so she sprinkled some water and continued stirring.

Then she placed the tawa for cooking the rotis on the third burner. To the atta in the bowl, she slowly added water and kneaded to a soft dough.

Next couple of minutes were shift with the board and rolling pin coming out. Divide the dough into two balls, dust with flour and roll them out.

She can always make perfect circles even from a triangle folded rotis, but she always says if you can't, it's fine. It's a chance to learn geography again.

She greased the tawa with oil, and on it went the rolled out rotis.

At this point, she checked on the subji, the spices must have all blended so well into the onions and tomatoes.

She saw that the eggs are done, so she peeled and kept it ready.

Having an eye on the tawa, she saw the roti puffing up. Flipped it to the other side and oiled it again. Roll out the other chapati and keep it ready. Simmer the tawa again.

She saw that the subji is all done, so increased the flame to high. She kept stirring to make sure all the moisture gets evaporated. As a final touch she added garam masala.

She thought now comes the fun part, Dev was looking at her as she quickly chopped the eggs horizontally into four pieces, added them to the pan.

She gently tossed everything together, making sure that the yellow is not completely mixed up. But she knew doing this part of the yellow tends to get mixed up with the masala and that gives this a different taste all together!

Ok there can't be a subji complete without fresh coriander leaves added. so in those went in. She has them all cleaned and stocked anyways.

Then she turned to have the second roti also cooked. It was well within the time by the time she took out his plate and had this served.

She told him that this is a dry dish with the masala all clinging to the egg, but the burst of flavours that happen because of the slightly burnt onions, spicy masala makes up all.

He was really impressed with the taste and had the kids sit with him on the floor. Nothing beats the togetherness that comes with sitting down with the kids, feeding them small bites in between meals. He declared he wanted this to a regular for dinner going forward!

She was glad she was able to meet the challenge, she quickly went about clearing things. 

As she was going about her work, she saw her family doing their antics. There is never a dull moment around. Maya wanted to quickly get the work done, so that they call it a day.

It's not everyday one meets the shadows from past or whispers that keeps haunting her memories

She was eager about what the next day has in store for her....

To be continued...

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Announcing Condiment Mela

After the Sandwich Mela, I surely wanted a different one to host. My thoughts went back to the time I wanted to do one on Condiments. I was thinking for a long time if the name really rhymed. Then thought name really doesn't matter, what matters most is what dishes that one is going to make.

Condiments are one of those indispensable items in a meal. It plays a vital role in all the cuisines and coming to Indian Cuisine, the list is endless. The countless chutneys, pickles, sauces and some more that can be found in Indian cuisine is just too many to select from.

According to wiki, a condiment is sauce or seasoning added to food to impart a particular flavor or, in some cultures, to complement the dish. They may also be dry, such as a mixture of herbs and seasonings. Many condiments are available packaged in single-serving packets (sachets), like mustard or ketchup, particularly when supplied with take-out or fast food meals. Condiments are usually applied by the diner. Condiments are sometimes added prior to serving, for example a sandwich made with ketchup or mustard. Some condiments are used during cooking to add flavor or texture to the food; barbecue sauce, teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, marmite are examples.

And in the Indian cuisines, you have the Chutneys, Sauces, Pickles, Papads to choose from. The list is actually endless!

So from now till September 20th 2011, post any dish that can be falling under Condiment on your blog. It can be sweet or savory. 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 Condiment 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: Condiment Mela

Post URL
Recipe Name
Picture of your dish.

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

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

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Monday, August 8, 2011

Sandwich Mela ~ Round up 2

After the interesting part 1 of Sandwich Mela, I am back with the second lot which are equally tantalizing. Going through the list I felt I will have to update my Sandwich filling ideas with these filling ideas too. It always helps to have the ideas ready right!

Now let's check out the next spread of tempting Sandwiches!
Rajani's Potato Sandwich
Raji's Grilled Sprouts Sandwich
Ramya Rajesh's Paneer burji sandwich & Mushrooms and egg on toast
Reva Madhan's Egg Florentine Sandwich

Rinku's Lemon, Watermelon Radish and Cream Cheese Sandwiches
Rinku Naveen's Vada Paav - Indian Vegetable Burger
Sarmistha Roy's Chicken Sandwich
Sharada's Grilled Eggplant Sandwich
Shobha's Corn Raita Toasted Sandwich & Carrot-Paneer Toasted Sandwich

ShyS's Burger with hidden talents
Sravani'sSimple Egg Sandwich

Tadka Pasta's Eggelicious in No-mayo Land, Funnibles! Cookie sandwiches, Tomatoes and Cream, a Sandwish, Like a Dream, & Not Quite Falafel, but Fatafat

Usha Prashanth's Carrot Paneer Sandwich
Usha Rao'sSpinach Pesto Sandwich

And from Vaishali - Submarine Sandwich,
Stuffed bread pakora, Bun Samosa & Falafel

Valli.R'sVegetable Quesadillas
Vardhini's Spinach Corn Sandwich
Vatsala Rana's Crabby Sandwich

Vidhya Arvind's Strawberry Sandwich, Boca Patty Burger, Paruppu Usli Sandwich

Vidhya Subramony's Potato Sandwich

And some wraps for you!

Priya Suresh's Refried Beasn & Veggies Salad Wrap

Pavani's Vegetarian Wraps with Teriyaki Tofu filling & Vegetarian Wraps with Spinach-Chickpea

Vaishali's Broccoli and Bean Wraps & Chole Kulche Roll

And finally from me a very late entry for the event, but a favorite one at home Paneer Frankie

I would like to thank everybody who sent in and those who wanted to send in but couldn't. I perfectly understand..:)

My sincere apologies if I have missed out any entry, please let me know right away.

Will catch you all in the next Mela!

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Friday, August 5, 2011

Sandwich Mela ~ Round up 1

When I announced Sandwich Mela, I was aiming at getting unlimited supply of Sandwich options that can really help us a lot during those dire situations. So you get to select from 80 different dishes to make from.

I wanted to include all those dishes that can or are sandwiched between two things, not necessarily bread slices. I wanted to make some cream biscuits etc. As you know it didn't happen. Will surely make those sometime soon. Meanwhile enjoy this array of display. I have made two parts with this. Expect the second part to happen soon. Do be sure to check them all and enjoy.

From Aarthi, we have five wonderful sandwiches to select Potato SandwichGrilled Cheese Sandwich,  , Caramelized onion and cheese sandwich, Chicken Sandwich, Cheesy Egg Sandwich

Archy's Veggy Pizza Sandwich
Bhagyashri's Roasted Pepper & Houmous sandwich
Cooking Foodie's Ice cream sandwich, Pesto panini with goat cheese, zucchini and red peppers, Strawberry stuffed French toast

Deeksha's Soya Burger
Divya mubarak's Channa Masala Sandwich with Chat masala
Divya Vikram's Cucumber Sandwich with basil-cilantro chutney
Gayathri Kumar's  Greek Gyro-Vegetarian Version, & Banana Blossom Sandwich

Harini Shrinivas Mixed Vegetable Sandwich
Harini-Jaya's Sooji-Vegetable Sandwich, Vegetable Sandwich, Vegan Black Bean Burger
Indrani Dhar's Vegetable Burger

Jyothi Valaboju's Chocolate sandwich
Kalyani's Carrot Feta Sandwich
Kaveri's Cheesy Corn Capsicum Sandwich
Khushi's Potato stuffed sandwich
Lata Raja's Idli Sandwich

Madhavi's Bread Toast
Mugdha Mohanty's Egg Veg Sandwich
Nithi Rajasekaran's Aloo Paneer Toast, & Sweetcorn Mayo Sandwich
Nivedita Thadani's Falafel Sandwich

Nupur Mehra's Spinach and Cheese Quesadillas
Nutan Dodbele's Masala Sandwiches
Pavani's Roasted Veggie Sandwich
Priya Srinivasan's Easy Cheesy Capsicum Sandwich

And finally six tempting spread from Priya Suresh's Paneer Bhurji Sandwich, Green Peas Masala Sandwich, Chunky Onion Tomato Chutney Sandwich, Bean & Corn Quesadillas, Vegetable Masala Sandwich - Iyengar Style, Simple Egg Sandwich

Will be back soon with the second edition

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Microwave Easy Cooking event 4th Anniversary with Potluck Party!

Here I am with another anniversary celebration of my most favorite event, Microwave Easy Cooking Event! As I have said already I am a sucker for traditions, so I am not going to be different this time. For this anniversary too, it's going to be a Potluck Party!

For the Potluck party, you are welcome to bring in whatever you like and we can all have one big virtual party. So all of August, plan whatever you want to cook in Microwave! You may use food processor to blend or do other things, but cooking has to be done in Microwave!

Send in as many ever you want, by 31st August, 2011, with Subject line MEC: Potluck Party 2011! Check out the Microwave Cooking Event Announcement for more details.

Please ensure to give clear instructions as cooking in microwave needs specific notes.

Linking back to this post is a must and you can add on the logo too if you wish.

Entries sent to this event can be sent to other events. It can be Veg or Non Veg.

Send in your entries to cooking4allseasons@gmail.com

I sure hope you all will join the fun and enjoy

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