Friday, November 30, 2012

Announcing the "Best of year 2012" Event!

However cliched it has been, let me repeat once again. The year has been so quick, yet so eventful. As we move on to the last month that makes up 2012, I take a moment to think back and ponder. Though I have been consistent in blogging over Spice your Life blog with Blogging Marathon, this space surely missed some action interim. 

I would surely want to think back and see how each month went by and what new dish I made that endeared to my family.

Keeping with the tradition, I would like to invite others who would want to take a moment off and look back and rejoice at what's been.

It can also be whatever else you want to share with me and your readers.

I am just giving few items for you to get started. It can be these or whatever you want to share:

1. Top 5 or 10 recipes of the year
2. Best dish of the month
3. Best recipe prepared from other blogs
4. Best Meal of the year
5  New things discovered in the year (can include anything related to cooking)
6. Best post or picture for each month or year
7. New blogs discovered
8. Cooking resolutions for the Year 2013!

Lets celebrate the new year with a recap of what we did during 2012!

Guidelines for the event.
1. Write your post by 31st December 2012.
2. Please use to the logo to spread the event.
3. In your post, include a link to this announcement.
4. Mail me your details to with the subject line "Best of 2012".
I hope you will enjoy doing this recap. 
Hoping to read the many wonderful things that happened around!

If you have time, do check out my best of the year posts that I did in the past - 2007, 20082009, 2010 , and 2011 here.

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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Pepper Chicken Curry Tamil Nadu Style without Coconut | Milagu Kozhi Kulambu

Seeing that it's been a while since I actually made something special for the blog, I requested Amma to think of a new variety in chicken when she was planning the menu for her party. She said she can't think of anything new, nor want to take a risk of making something new of which she has no verdict as it's going to be a party.

Then she decided to call in one of our guests, Vasantha Aunty, who is quite an expert in making Non veg dishes. She came in early and decided to make Chicken in the style she makes. By then Amma had all the other dishes set and done. She said this chicken gravy goes very well with just plain rice as it's quite spicy with pepper flavour being more.

The main specility of this gravy is the fact that it's made without Coconut. So if you are looking for a low calorie Chicken Gravy, then this is something that will suit just fine. I was asking her how she will get more gravy when she hasn't added coconut to it, she asked me to wait and watch. And I must agree the gravy was more and I guess people didn't miss out the coconut at all.
Pepper Chicken Curry
Pepper Chicken Curry
Pepper Chicken Curry

Ingredients Needed:

Chicken - 1 kg
Onions - 3 medium
Tomatoes - 2 small
Bay leaf - 1
Ginger Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Red Chili powder - 2 tsp
Coriander powder - 3 tsp
Turmeric powder a pinch
Coriander leaves - 2 tbsp
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil - 2 tsp

Ground powder to be added

Pepper - 1 & tsp
Cumin - 1/2 tsp

Dry roast and grind to a smooth powder.

How to make the Pepper Chicken Curry

Wash and drain the chicken on a colander. 

Heat a pressure cooker with oil, add the bay leaf, then chopped onions. Saute till it turns brown. Add the drained chicken, saute well.

Add salt and turmeric and saute well till the moisture evaporates.

Then add the ginger garlic paste, combine everything well. Now add the red chili powder, coriander powder, and chopped tomatoes. Saute everything well and cover with a lid. Simmer to low flame and let the chicken get roasted well. add garam masala

Add a cup of water and pressure cook for a whistle. 

When the pressure falls, remove the lid, add coriander leaves and sprinkle the ground pepper, cumin powder.

Bring to a boil and remove.


The coriander powder gives the gravy in this dish. The pepper that you add at the end makes it a perfect spicy gravy.

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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Party Menu 3 | Menu Planning | Indian Party Menus | Dinner Party

It feels like ages since I have actually done anything. I just needed something to push me back to being regular here. And that was the party that parents hosted last night. They had their friends coming in over for dinner and Amma was preparing all the dishes. I planned in to pinch in early, however Amma said one of the aunties is coming over early to help her. She ended up making a new dish for us, rather for me as I was really pestering Amma to make something new. I have been so up against the wall in terms of cooking new dishes for this space!

I had told her ahead that I was expecting her to think of something new and she politely told me that a party is exactly not a time for her to experiment. Well I simply had to heed her words. I got lucky when Vasantha Aunty agreed to make the Chicken curry she makes. She is a wonderful cook and an expert when it comes to making Non Veg dishes. Daddy always keeps praising her dishes and though we have never tasted her food, from the content look that gets settled down, says enough.

Venue : Home
Number : 12

Our Dinner Party Menu was:


Mixed Fruit Juice (Store bought)


Spicy Channa Sundal, Iyar Style
Onion, Cucumber, Carrot Salad

Veg Starters:

Fried Masala Cashew
Onion Pakoras

Non Veg Starters:

Chicken Pakodas
Chicken Nuggets (Store bought)
Mutton Roast

Main Dishes

Pepper Chicken Curry, Tamil Nadu Style
Peas Paneer Curry
Pepper Cumin Rasam,
Plain Rice


Custard with Fruits
Butterscotch Ice cream

Preparations for the party

Soaking the Channa overnight and getting it cooked by early evening. 

Custard prepared the previous evening and refrigerated.

Masalas got ground by morning

Washing and cleaning the mutton, chicken and draining them over a colander by afternoon. Refrigerate until usage.

Marinate the Chicken for the Pakodas by 3 pm.

Mutton Roast got started by 5 pm along with Veg dishes.

Rasam can be cooked ahead by afternoon without tempering, which can be done just before the party.

Rice and rotis done by 7 pm.

Have all the onions chopped and ready for the pakodas.

 Paneer Peas Masala

 Pepper Chicken Curry, Tamil Nadu Style (without Coconut)

Spicy Kadala Sundal, Iyar Style

Fried Masala Cashew

Cashews Whole - 1/2 Kg
Red Chili powder - 1 - 1 & 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil to deep Fry

Heat the Oil and when it hot enough fry the cashews till they start turning colour.

Drain them on to a kitchen towel. Sprinkle red chili powder and salt. Cover and shake them well to make sure all the cashews get coated with the masala well.

Allow to cool and then store in air tight container.

If you have noticed, we make sure we always have some dishes that we keep repeating and include some new dishes. Having all dishes as new may not always work out as expected. So always include some dishes that are your favorite and also your guests favorite.

In this menu, we repeated Chicken Pakodas and Mutton Roast as it was requested so many times. We thought our guests would love it and as expected they really enjoyed these.

The Onion Pakodas that I made were different from the one that's already on the blog. Since I didn't exactly click pictures of them, I am linking to the other recipe I have on the blog.

Party Menu 1
Party Menu 2 

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Deepavali / Diwali Greetings!

Wish all my readers a great Deepavali ahead!

May this festival fill with light and fun and may you end up cooking more for your family..:)

With many dishes planned, none executed, all I have today is just wishes for a wonderful festival season for all.

I leave with a link to all the Special dishes that I have made till date for Diwali

Deepavali / Diwali Special Dishes

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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Diwali Recipes | Deepavali Recipes - Sweets and Savories

Advance Deepavali / Diwali Greetings!

With Deepavali / Diwali falling on 13th of this month, I thought a list of all recipes will be easy to access. Will be posting this year's special a little ahead. Watch out for them on Spice your life!

Hope you enjoy and have a great festival day with family and friends.

2012 Special Sweets and Savories

Ribbon Pakoda | Ola Pakoda| Nada Kara

Ulundhu Kali / Ulutham Kali
Patishapta ~ Bengali Sweet
Pathir Pheni ~ Karnataka Special
Sunnundalu with Sugar | Urad Dal Laddu

Carrot Kheer | Carrot Payasam
Semiya Saggubiyam Payasam | Semolina Sago Porridge
Paneer Payasam | Paneer Kheer

Neyyappam | Nei Appam Recipe
Sheera Recipe / Sooji Halwa
Aval Payasam | Atukula Payasam

Jaggary Rice Dumpling / Bellam Ponganalu
Yellow Moong Dal Halwa | Pesarapappu Halwa

Cashew Besan Burfi
Chocolate Walnut Fudge
Chocolate Pista Roll

2011 Diwali Sweets and Savories
From Archives

Deepavali Sweets

Kaja ~ Andhra sweet
Panasa Thonalu
Kajjikayalu ~ Karjikayalu
Coconut Barfi
Kesari Bhath
Coconut Poli
Sweet Poli ~ Puran Poli
Mixed flour Athirasam
Rava Laddoo
Ariselu ~ Athirasallu
Vermicelli Kesari ~ Semiya Kesari
Sugar Diamonds
Groundnut Laddoos ~ Peanut Balls
7 Cup Burfi
Pori Urundai
Jonna Pelalu Laddu / Popcorn Laddu
Kalakand ~ Microwave Kalakand 
Gulab Jamun
Microwave Besan Ladoo
Ras Malai
Peanut & Fried Gram Chikki Balls
Mysore Pak | How to make Mysore Pak with Step by Step pictures
Badusha ~ How to make Badhusha

Jalebi Recipe | How to make Jalebi / Jilabi Step By Step Picture Recipe 
Sunnundalu ~ Urad Dal Laddu

Besan Ladoo in Microwave

Gajjar Ka Halwa ~ Carrot Halwa
Doodhi Halwa Or White Pumpkin Halwa
Godumai Halwa ~ Wheat Halwa
Kaai Kani Halwa ~ Halwa with fruits, vegetables and nuts
Maida Halwa
Moong Dal Halwa
Papaya Halwa
Potato Halwa
Ashoka Halwa ~ South Indian Moong Dal Halwa
Beetroot Halwa
Bread Halwa
Chayote Halwa ~ Chow Chow Halwa
Pear Halwa
Chocolate Halwa
Almond Milk Cake ~ Microwaved Badam Halwa
Therattipaal or Palkova in Microwave
Pineapple Halwa
Sooji ka Halwa | Microwave Suji ka Halwa
Microwave Carrot Halwa
Microwave Mixed Fruits Halwa
Microwave Chocolate Burfi 
Banana Halwa
Moong Dal Halwa 

Godhuma Halwa - Tirunelveli Godhumai Halwa | How to make Godhumai Halwa

Varo – Indian Praline with Mixed Dry fruits

Suruttai Poli | Rolled Poli
Bansi Rava Bath ~ Broken Wheat Pudding
Broken Wheat Sweet Porridge | Samba Godhuma Sakkara Pongal

Chana Dal Khus Khus Payasam / Senaga Pappu Gasagasala Payasam
Bansi Rava Sakkarai Pongal
Akkaravadisal | Akkaravadesil
Khus Khus Kheer

Senega Pappu Payasam
Semiya Payasam
Moong Dal Payasam ~ Pesara Pappu Payasam
Kesar di Kheer / Saffron rice Rudding
Chana Dal Payasam | Kadalai Paruppu Payasam
Seviyan ~ Sweet Vermicelli
Mango Shrikhand | Aamrakhand

Rava Semiya Payasam

Coconut Poli ~ How to make Coconut Poli

Deepavali Savories

Palak Bhujias ~ Spinach Sev
Plain Bhujias ~ Plain Sev
Salt Diamonds
Ribbon Pakoda
Mixed Dal Muruku
Omapodi / Sev
South Indian Chivda / Mixture
Peanut Murukku | Groundnut Murukku
Chegodilu / Chekodi
Khasta Kachori / Moong Dal Kachori
Kara Sev
Thenkuzhal Muruku
Microwave Fried Moong Dal

Recipes for Special Diwali / Deepavali Lunch / Dinner

Moong Dal Carrot Vada
Masala Vada
Meddu Vada
Maida Pakoda | Maida Onion Pakoda

Side Dish

Spicy Potato Roast
Arbi / Colacasia Deep fry

Mixed Rice / Pulao / Biryani
Andhra Pulihora ~ Tamarind Rice with Sesame Seeds
Karivepaku Annam ~ Spiced Curry Leaf Rice
Vangi Bath
Channa Pulao - LBS#6
Vegetable Dum Biryani

Rotis / Indian Bread

Phulko Luchi
Naan without Tandoor Oven ~ How to make Naan on Stove top
Tawa Naan Recipe | Making Naan on Tawa
Dal Stuffed Poori Recipe


Paneer Makhanwala
Plantain Paneer Kofta Curry
Guthi Vankai
Mixed Vegetable Kurma


Apple Masoor Dal Payasam

Kalkandu Sadam
Kesar Di Kheer ~  Saffron Rice Pudding

Sakara Pongal with Sprouted Whole Moong Dal

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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Chicken Gravy Andhra Style ~ Yet another one!

I know I have so many variations of chicken gravy, that I almost gave up trying to check if I had already made that particular way. The fact being each one varies in some form and when that method is liked by all, I immediately think I must share with all and also it will surely help me again when I would want to make something different. 

So you are subjected to yet another method the chicken gravy is prepared at home. Athamma makes this way and I can never actually get her to tell me the recipe in the way she makes. Like she always forgets to tell me and then she remembers. It's all sort of very cute because I am sure she would have forgotten something. This time I even made sure I was around the time she made. And captured pictures as well. She is somebody who never really cares about following a recipe and adds in something based on what's available. Anyway we have been always happy that her dishes turn out great.

Ingredients needed:

Chicken - 500 gms
Onions - 200 gms
Tomato - 100 gms
Ginger - Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Coriander Leaves chopped - half cup
Curds - 2 tbsp
Bay Leaf - 1
Coconut and Poppy Seeds paste - 2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder a pinch
Oil - 1 tbsp
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
Water - 1 cup
Coconut Milk - 1/2 cup

Method to prepare:

Chop chicken to desired size.

Chop Onions, Tomatoes, coriander finely,

Heat oil in a pressure cooker, add bay leaf. Then add onion and sauté well. Fry till its light brown in colour, then add ginger garlic paste. Fry till the raw smell is gone.

Then add chicken piece along with salt and turmeric pw. Fry on high flame for 5 mins. Ensure it doesn't get burnt. Simmer and add the curds, saute well.

Then add chilli powder, coriander powder, fry well so that the chicken pieces gets a coating. Then add tomatoes pieces, simmer it for 5 mins. Add half of the coriander leaves. Keep rest for garnishing.

Add water and coconut paste and milk. cover it with lid and bring to 1 whistle.

Once the pressure is out, remove the lid and put on high flame. Sprinkle garam masala and then garnish with coriander leaves before removing from flame.

I made this along with the Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani

Other Chicken Recipes

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