Tuesday, 25 March 2008


Yummy dish

When in Mysore I was really surprised to see the advent of Gobi Manchurian in a big way .. churumuri and Panipuri have been actually marginalised by noodles and Gobi carts.Even though I love churumuri I indulged myself to a treat of delicious Gobi Manchurian on the Gaadis.. They are simply delicious and absolutely impossible to resist when you see a gadi.. there is a pull towards it.Indo chinese has actually changed the way of food at my house too.. I love a lot of dishes but can cook few with expertise.

On Friday I was telling about my school days to children.. the churumuri and now how Gobi Manchurian has taken over the city. They had tasted once when i made Gobi Manchurian and now wanted me to make it. I had no Cauliflower in the house and was thinking what to do.. My younger one remembered eating Baby corn Manchurian at a restaurant during our last visit.

I opened my freezer only to see that they were too little.. so added some paneer (cottage cheese) also to make it a mixture of paneer -baby corn Manchurian.I was wondering how the outcome would be... Well I needn't have worried it was extremely tasty...

It was a delight both to eyes and palate


Ingredients required:

15 baby corncobs,

100 grams of paneer ( or a slab of cottage cheese)

4 table spoons of corn flour,

2 table spoon of maida (all purpose flour)

1 table spoon rice flour

oil ( vegetable oil ),

1 spoon ginger garlic paste

Tomato sauce,

2 spoons of tomato puree

soy sauce

1 pinch aji-no-moto

Chopped capsicum half a cup

Onions finely chopped half a cup

5 garlic cloves finely chopped

3 green chillies slit longitudinally,

1 inch garlic finely chopped,

coriander leaves,

1 spoon kashmiri chilli powder

and salt to taste


Wash the baby corn thoroughly and cut into small pieces( I used frozen , if you are using fresh, cook the baby corn cobs in some hot water for a couple of minutes.It helps it too cook when you deep fry). cut paneer too into similar sized cubes.

In a bowl add two spoons of cornflour, two spoons maida and one spoon of rice flour , salt, kashmiri chilli powder, one spoon ginger garlic paste and mix with little water making it a light batter

Dip the baby corn and paneer pieces in this batter and deep fry till golden brown.The Kashmiri chilli powder gives it a good colour ( you can use red food colour if you have no reservations of using food colour).Keep aside.


In a pan ,,, add two spoons of oil. when the oil is hot add the cut green chillies, garlic, ginger... onions and capsicum.When they are half cooked add some salt, aji no moto and cover.When these are cooked , add two spoons of cornflour mixed in a cup of cold water.It thickens very soon giving a lovely aroma,then add tomato puree, tomato sauce and two spoons of soy sauce.. Turn the gas off.Take care you don't use too much soy sauce.. it can give a very sour taste

While serving, Take a small kadai. heat the gravy , add the baby corn and paneer pieces and let it soak in the gravy for a minute of two.. then transfer on to a plate and garnish with Coriander leaves. Serve hot.. It is tastier when hot..

Try this dish , let me know if you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Monday, 17 March 2008

LAUKI KE KOFTE/Bottlegourd dumplings in spicy gravy

I was not aware of Doodi / lauki /Bottle Gourd/ Sorekayi { in Kannada} for long time as it was not used in the house at all..It was kind of not bought/brought home I am not sure why??? It seemed so delicious a dish when I first ate it.Well.. it was my good friend Sunitha who made me lick my fingers whenever she made lauki ke kofte... got hooked to it when she was around..I never tried it though.
Soon forgot all about it , was happy trying out new things.This week when i spotted Lauki in the Indian store, all memories rushed back and I ended up making Kofte with what I remembered she had told me about the procedure and ingredients..
We enjoyed it with some Takda dal and Coriander Naan ( I bought them) , made some Matar pulav too.
Lauki Ke Kofte ( dumplings in spicy tomato gravy)


To make Koftas
Half a kilo (500 gms) lauki peeled and grated
2 table spoons besan / gram flour
2-3 green chillies
grated ginger
Salt to taste
1 tea spoon red chilli powder
Finely chopped few coriander leaves

Ingredients for gravy

2 medium sized onions
3 medium sized tomatoes grated / puree
2 green chillies
1 inch ginger
2-3 flakes garlic
Few chopped coriander leaves
salt to taste
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp jeera powder
1 inch dalchini / cinnamon
1-2 bay leaves / tej patta
1 big cardamom / badi elaichi
3-4 cloves/laung
oil for frying
Juice that is extracted from lauki and kept aside
and water if required.

Grate the lauki,sprinkle some salt and allow to stand for 10 minutes. Now squeeze out water from it completely. Store the extracted water/juice in a bowl separately.
To this grated lauki add grated ginger, chopped green chillies, chopped coriander leaves, salt, red chilli powder and mix well. Add besan/gramflour to bind it well into round or oval balls..
heat the Oil in a Kadi or Deep pan. Deep fry these koftas simultaneously to golden brown colours. Keep the flame medium as the koftas get cooked outer side very fast and the centre will remain uncooked...Store the deep fried koftas on to a tissue paper..

To make Gravy:

Heat 2 table spoons of oil in a kadai or heavy bottom pan. Grind Onions, ginger, garlic together to a fine paste...
Put dalchini, crushed elaichi, tej patta, cloves let it splutter in oil then add green chillies, garlic, ginger, onions and cover the pan for few minutes on medium flame, Now add the ground paste and let it cook till the raw smell of garlic is gone and onions turns to a pinkish colour. Now add tomatoes or tomato puree salt and turmeric, red chilli, jeera, coriander powders and mix well.

Keep stirring for sometime and check if the gravy is even and well blended add the extracted water from lauki now. Let the gravy boil for about 5 to 8 minutes...
Sprinkle garam masala.
The gravy should neither be too thick nor too thin but medium.
At the time of serving heat the gravy, transfer in serving dish add the koftas now and garnish with coriander leaves.
This gravy dish goes very well with Rotis ....
Have a great week ahead...

Monday, 10 March 2008

Mysore Masala Puri

My school days remain the happiest and memorable days of my life till date.Apart from commuting in a crowded citybus.. sitting on a wooden bench with three more girls, silly fights, assembly songs... walking home if we wanted too ( no fear of any sort).Life was fantastic. School days were more enjoyabel with the eatables available just outside the school gates.Those who have been in Mysore can vouch that schooling was synonymous with Churumuri , pani puri, masalapuri... soutekayi (cucumber )and tomato puri........ all available very near to my school in Ballal Circle...
When at school I used get a 25 or 50 Paisa allowance to eat out every Saturday... which was more than enough for a pack of churumuri ( the cone made of paper)(now it is 5 Rs., yummy all the same).The soutekayi ( A longitudinal layer of cucumber layered with lots of garnishing and chutneys).Once you get the hang of churumuri it is almost very difficult to get rid of that that love from your mind.It stays and grows with you. I make it quite often ,but it is never exactly the same.

The masalapuri on the other hand was a bit expensive for me and had to save about three weeks of this money to get one plate... so it was a treat sometimes by my Ajji (grandmother) after she would be pestered by me for it endlessly for the whole week.It was a whooping 1.25 paise...but worth the money.I can feel the taste lingering even now after many many years.Even to date.. my loyalty for this particular churumuri and masalapuri fellows haven't changed. It is not available anywhere else ( may be in Bangalore..I haven't had it there ) with the same taste..specially the masalapuri has a very distinct taste.But I always maintained that the Gadiwala added a secret ingredient to make it so tasty which we cud never get hold off.. which many elders in my family.. felt and feel was his sweat and dirty hands and of all dirty plates... But nothing they say, said detered me frome ating at those chat (carts) places... masalpuri gadis (the cart with all this stuff )or will stop me.. I am immune to all the bugs which can be speread thru these lovely dishes...What is life without them is my argument!!! I am sure many of u there support me.

My Masalpuri:

After many failed attempts to make it at home with the same ingredients.. finally there was a ray of hope,.when my sister passed on a recipe, she got from our cousin. She had tried and said it did taste well.. with the hope this would be good I tried out this Friday and it was a Smash Hit.. BANG!! right the Gadi (cart) taste... now am sure no special ingredients other than using the RIGHT ingredients in Right quantities... and to our taste...The peas masala is the most important ingredient... It is easy to make and tasty too.. Our friends whe where here said it was exactly like the Gadiwala, what better award could i get than that.


Small Crispy Puris (which are available in the market .. these are known as Gol guppa too)
Peas Masala
Grated Carrot
Lemon juice (optional)
Finely chopped Onions
Boiled and mashed Potatoes
Finely chopped Coriander
Chopped Tomatoes
Chat Masala
Garam Masala
Tamarind Chutney
Green Chutney
SEV ( plain thin) or any spicy mixture


The few of the ingredients to be cooked with some effort is Peas Masala .Easy that it is need a bit of planning..
Dry peas (Batani/vatana) - 1/2 kg
Green chillies - 4
Coriander - chopped half a cup
Ginger - Garlic paste - 2 spoons
One onion - chopped
Garam masala - 4 spoons
Pepper corns
amchur powder - 1 sp
salt to taste
oil - 1 tbsp

Soak the Dry Peas overnight... cook them with salt and turmeric powder in a pressure cooker.

Grind onion, Ginger garlic paste, one spoon of garam masala, 3/4 green chillies,4 /5 pepper corns, coriander, and one big cup of the boiled peas to a fine paste.
In a big pan heat some oil...and saute the taste for a few minutes till the paste gives out a nice aroma. then add the rest of the boiled peas, with some salt , amchur powder and 3 spoons of garam masala.. let it boil till the paste gets to a thick gravy consistency...One of the secret of the chatwallah is the constant boiling of this masala....so if you prepare it earlier in the day.. start the boiling the peas masala at least 15 minutes before you start serving the dish.

Now for the layering part.this can be done according to our taste .. so the measurements can vary to each plate to the individual's taste.

1.Take 5 to 6 Puris and crush them lightly on a shallow plate.. Add some mashed potatoes as a second layer.

2.Pour the hot peas masala in generous quantity over the potaotes covering the potates and the PURIs

3.Sprinkle chopped tomatoes and Onions on top of the gravy.Place a few cucumber slices to soothe the tongue in case the masala is too spicy .

4. Add some green chutney and tamarind chutney according to the taste and sprinkle a layer of carrots and Sev.. on the top.
Just add a dash of lemon juice if needed.

5. A dash of coriander (which was a bit too much in this plate , but i love it this way),Just sprinkle some Chat Masala and the dish is ready to be served immediately.

This is really yummy .The peas masala is holds the key to this dish... I will await responses..

Bye for today... Have a great week ahead

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Sunset at a lake near by

A few weeks ago, on a saturday we drove to a lake near by... We did not expect this wonderful view though.The lake is next to a leisure centre so can imagine the crowd that would be there, but amazingly it was quite clean and the ducks and swans swimming around made my day.
The weather here is so unpredictable it is wise to make use of little sun we see. I tried capturing the view in my camera but not sure how succesful I was.I have posted a few I thought were goood...Well!!! let me know what you think

Lovely peek through the trees... It was an amazing sight

Just about to drown,, leaving the waters golden

We love this place.... can we stay here amma????

Lonely even in a crowd.... swan that I am in a group of ducks!!!!!!!

Feeding Frenzy

Going to be back tomorrow
No words to explain the feeling I had at that point of time... may be just to sing
Abhi na jaao chodkar ke dil abhi bhara nahi!!!!!!!

Saturday, 1 March 2008


First Day of March,, brings in a lot of fond memories from the days I lived in Romania. this particular is celebrated as Martisor , (literally meaning little march).I was surprised the first year seeing all girls wearing red and white threads with some amulets on their wrists.

By the second year of our stay there I had enough friends to tell me what that festival was all about and by the help of my girls who learnt about it in schools and came home with loads of Martisor, some of them I have till date and will cherish them all my life .It reminds me the warmth and love i got from Romania. ..

Martisor is a traditional Romanian celebration of the coming of spring. It is celebrated on the March 1st of every year.Women are given flowers, particularly GHIOCEL, a beautiful white flower which as though on cue just sprouts all over the place out of the snow by 1st of March.

A Ghiocel
Romanians have a beautiful ancient tradition on the first day of March : Martisor (The Amulet). Its name is a diminutive from the name of Martie - the Romanian word for March. There is a similarity between Martie and the ancient Roman God "Mars" or "Martie" in Latin language.In ancient Rome this God was a symbol of revival, green fields, flocks and love. They used to celebrate their God on the first day of spring.

MARTISOR is also the name of a trinket, amulet kind object consisting of a small decoration tied to a white and red string, symbolizing the coming of spring.

Nowadays "Martisor" is present in all Romanian regions . In Romania this Amulet is a symbol of coming spring and joy. Exchanging them is a gesture of love, friendship, respect and appreciation. You can buy silky red-white threads (tied into a bow) and small plastic objects : flowers, horse shoes, leaves, bumblebees, animals, birds, tiny suns or stars, red hearts, and many others. People wear it in the left side on their chests, traditionally these amulets are worn during nine days, starting from March 1st, of course. But it has predominantly taken the role of showing love.My girls were so pleased to get and it became actually a competion who had more of these Martisor than the other....Traditions sadly fading away off...

The Martisor was also worn by young men and adults. Moreover, the braid which announced the spring was tied on the horns of the cows or on the gate of the stable, in order to protect the household from the evil. In older times, March 1st was the beginning of a new year,even now it is mostly welcomed with the same warmth and spirit, and it is seen as a moment in which people needed to protect themselves from the evil spirits.

The Martisor is worn until the roses or the cherries bloom. Then, the braid is tied on one of the branches of that tree. In other regions, the Martisor is worn during the old women's days (March 1st to March 9th), after this being tied on a tree. It is believed that, if the tree gives fruits, the man who has worn the Martisor will be lucky. If the Martisor is thrown after a bird, the man will be as easy as that bird.

As any traditional festive can have this Martisor also has its share of legends and history of origin.. here they go you can see them in this link...

I had tried a dish called Mamaliga on a Martisor celebration ,taste of which I will never forget.. though it is an acquired taste I am so sure many of you will like this dish made out of corn.What better way to celebrate this in my own way by cooking a dish and reliving the lovely days.
Mamaliga is basically cornmeal mush.. fairly simple to prepare it is delicious with butter, sour cream and some fried onions. As my memory is tingled with this traditional dish, I am sharing this recipe...mostly out of love to my friends in Romania...

Mamaliga with butter and fried onions

1 cup cornmeal (known widely as polenta/corn grits)
4 cups of water
salt to taste

To garnish

Fried onions
Sauteed beans
Mix one cup of corn meal with one and half cups of cold water and set aside for 10 minutes . Take care while mixing that it does not form lumps.
In a large pan heat 3 cups of water till it comes to a hard boil. Now slowly add the soaked softened corn meal while stirring the water.take care that it doesn't form lumps here either. Keep stirring till the corn meal gets thicker and thicker.
The consistency can be to our liking ( I like it a little soggy ).cover the dish and let it cook for 5 more minutes.
Traditionally it is served with sourcream and friedonions. since it did not suit my palate I use butter and some fried onions and sauteed frenchbeans...
In a pan heat some oil and fry onions(chopped length wise)

Serve hot with butter/sour cream and fried onions. I served with some sauteed beans and sometimes with a bowl of french fries...
Hoping you liked this too...