Thursday, October 25, 2007

FAHC Donate Smiles - Raffle Winners Announced - And The Lucky Winner is.....:)

FAHC, Donate Smiles Charity drive was a big success, we long surpassed the original goal of $3360 and the final amout stands at $4735 YAY!!!!!!!!

CONGRATULATIONS to Lee and Friends for winning the Icewine Dark Chocolate from As Dear As Salt :)

Lee, I'll mail you the prize once I receive your postal address!

For the full list of raffle prize winners please visit Indira's Mahanandi!

A BIG Thank You to all participants, we did it!!!! :)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Pili Moong Dal aur Matar Ka Puda aka Lentils(Yellow Moong Dal) and Green Peas Pancakes

This is one of my favorite one pot meals!
It satisfies all the food groups and more importantly satisfies and satiates me at the same time :)
There are quite a few kinds of Pudas' (pancakes), some are instant and some like this one require a bit of planning. The process in itself is very simple, as long as you remember to soak the Moong Dal.

Growing up I used to love the Besan(chickpea flour) puda with lots of ketchup. It is the simplest of it's kind with some chopped onions and tomato added for flavor, it is also known as the Vegetarian omelett :) Makes a nice stuffing for bread!

On the same lines, there is the popular Pesarattu made with whole green moong dal. Pesarattu with upma is one of my favorite combo's, I like to have a plate of that at my friends place who is from Hyderabad.

Pili Moong Dal aur Matar ka Puda aka Lentils (Yellow Moong Dal) and Green Peas Pancakes
1 cup Moong Dal
3 green chili (adjust as per taste)
1/2 tsp ginger (as per taste)
2 tbsp chopped onions
1/2 cup green peas, crushed coarsely
salt as per taste
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
1/2 tsp cooking soda/Eno fruit salt
Oil for drizzling

1. Soak washed Moong dal for 5 hours.
2. Grind it with 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp water
I've always had great results using these water measurements. Also, grind green chili and ginger along with it to a smooth paste.
3. Add chopped onion, crushed peas, coriander leaves and salt. Add soda when you are ready to make the puda.
4. Heat a griddle, spread the batter just like you do for making dosa, i.e. put about 1/4 cup batter on the griddle and spread in a circular motion from the inside to the out.
5. Drizzle oil around the edges and cook till the underside gets golden brown and then flip it.
6. Cook till done.
7. Puda is ready to be served with a bowl of curds and chutney/pickle of your choice.
I can think of so many variations to this Puda. Add a pinch of hing/asafoetida for a lovely taste.
Can stuff it with some seasoned grated paneer for paneer lovers :)
Can spread red chili chutney on the puda itself for a real hot taste.
Kids love it with some ketchup spread on it and then rolled up :)

I make about 7/8 " puda. Yup I measured it specially for you....LOL!!
This is a Madhur Jafferey recipe!

This is my contribution to Hima's WYF Diet Food event!

Musical has tagged me for the Fantastic Four MEME! So here goes.....
4 places I've lived

4 Jobs I've had
I managed three other kids when I was a teen. The kids I was supposed to manage for a few hours were 6, 6 and 4 respectively, I was so happy at this "responsibility". I think I must have been the "strictest" manager ever, bossing around those poor lil' kids ;)

Theatre/Stage Artist:
I love theatre and performing on stage was a sure thrill.

Restaurant Guide:
My friends call me for phone nos. and directions to restaurants.....LOL!

Match Maker:
Yup, someone I introduced later got married :)

4 Favorite places I've holidayed
Goa...luvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvre it there :)
Kodai Kanal, beautiful :)
Jamaica, fun ;)
Vegas, the sin city ;)

4 Favorite foods
Only 4 from a foodie, not fair!!! but here goes....
Mom's parathas - dal, aloo, gobi, mooli all of them :)
Mom's Bharwa karela and bharwa capsicum :)
My sis's Paneer in gravy :)
My grandmom's Nan-khatai, but I don't get to taste it anymore :(

4 Places I would rather be
There is no other place I would rather be than my home sweet home, 'coz it won't be me if I was wishing for something else and not enjoying the present :)


Monday, October 15, 2007

ChipIn, Donate Smiles and Win some Fun Prizes on the way...

FAHC - Feed A Hungry Child is a non-profit organization started by one of the fellow bloggers, V.K.N of My Dhaba. The immediate mission is to help feed hungry children one by one and join the fight against global poverty.

You can read all the details pertaining to the working of FAHC at

You donate by clicking on the widget on the left of the screen. Indira of Mahanandi is arranging a raffle to benefit this cause.

Each $25 donation will give you one raffle ticket towards a prize (Details of prizes are given below).
After you donate, please forward your payment confirmation message to, clearly specifying which prize or prizes you are interested in.

Do mention how many tickets per prize, for example, a donation of $50 will buy you 2 raffle tickets. For all correspondence by email, please use the same email address that you have used for your Chip-in contribution. This helps to validate your entry to the raffle and to contact you should you win a prize.

For each prize, a raffle winner will be picked. The event will close on 23rd October and raffle prize winners will be announced on 25th. If you need more information about the prizes, please contact Indira at

List of Raffle prizes

1. Grains, Greens and Grated Coconuts, Recipes and Remembrances of a Vegetarian Legacy by Ammini Ramachandran - courtesy Indira

2. A Gift Box of Spice Extracts - courtesy Anjali Damerla of Supreme Spice

3. Two copies of Complete Digital photography by Ben Long - courtesy Bee and Jai of Jugalbandi.

4. Two autographed copies of Indian Home Cooking by Suvir Saran - courtesy Suvir Saran

5. Two autographed copies of the just released cookbook American Masala by Suvir Saran - courtesy Suvir Saran

6. Two prizes: Dinner for two each, wine included, at Suvir Saran’s restaurant Dévi in New York City - courtesy Dévi, Suvir Saran

7. Two ready-to-wear children’s sarees in red and green colors - courtesy Manisha of Indian Food Rocks

8. A beautiful painting done by Shilpa of Aayi's Recipes.

9. Two Fair-Trade Goodies Bags from UK from Padmaja of Spicy Andhra

10. A Personalized Ceramic “Vindu” Plate from Mythili of Vindu

11. 30-Minute Meals ~ by Rachel Ray from Siri of Siri’s Corner

12. I would like to add one more raffle prize, a box of Icewine Dark Chocolate, which I got from my recent trip to Canada. They are a rare kind of chocolate in which Grapes are naturally frozen on the vine in Canada's frigid winters and then harvested and pressed. The wine from the juice has a luxurious flavor and is a speciality from Canada. Shipping is included.

Thank You!

Hope you have fun participating in this Happy cause :)

Monday, October 8, 2007

Dates and Pistachio Poli Adorns This Appetizing Thali for RCI

anti clock wise: Date Pistachio Poli, onion tomato salad, sweet potato subzi, rice, fryums/papad, kala chana gravy, home made curds!
I'm not able to participate in all the ongoing events as much as I would like to, but then Life happens............ ;)
Anyway, I decided to make this Dates and Pistachio Poli based on Viji's Poli recipe. When she mentioned that we can try sweet recipes from her archives for the RCI-Tamil Festival I was happy to try this out with my own variations and you can see the results were sweet :)
Poli's make a wonderful festival food and there are innumerable stuffings that can be catered to one's taste!
What is your favorite stuffing, please do let me know!!!

Dates and Pistachio Poli
I usually make all my stuffed Indian Breads (Parathas and Poli) using whole wheat flour/atta) and I did the same here. But if you are used making it with Maida like Viji, definitely go ahead and do it for the covering.
2 cups whole wheat flour/Chapati atta
1 tsp oil
water to knead the dough.
Knead a smooth and pliable dough with the ingredients, cover and keep at least an hour.

1 cup finely chopped dates
1/2 cup powdered pistachio
1/2 tsp cardamom/elaichi powder
Mash the dates well to form a soft mass.
If your dates are not too soft, they can be cooked in the microwave for a minute to soften.
Add pista powder and cardamom powder.
Believe me, it is better to make extra mix of this, you will love to eat this as is, I know I did :)
When ready to make the Poli, make equal size balls out of the dough and the stuffing.
Roll the dough to a puri(fried Indian bread) size and stuff with the date mix.
Seal well with the dough around it and roll to regular chapati size.
Heat a griddle and roast the poli like regular chapati, remove from the gas and smear with ghee.
Remember this is an important step to keep the poli soft and it imparts an unmistakable lovely aroma :)
Enjoy the Poli as a part of a meal as I did or just on it's own.

The rolling part is not that difficult, specially if you are used to making stuffed parathas.
Make sure the stuffing is not too moist.
Try to make medium sized Poli's, less chance of the stuffing oozing out that way :)
Enjoy nutritious and tasty Date and Pistachio Poli!
This is my contribution to Viji's RCI-Tamil Festival. Thanks Viji.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Gobi Aloo aur Soya beans ki Sukhi Subzi (Cauliflower Potato and Soya beans Stir Fry)

If it were up to the convincing powers of the media moguls, I would be eating some form of soya for my breakfast, lunch & dinner!
I mean seriously, how many times have we seen the advertisements where the actors get such an instant boost of energy after taking certain products that it would fail to fool even a child ;)
I'm a sceptic when it comes to tall claims declaring the unhitherto proven advantages of certain products. I feel, the climatic conditions of the region where you live, your gene build up/body type etc have a lot to do with why certain food items suit one, more than others! Definitely does not make sense to me to jump on to the bandwagon for no rhyme or reason ;) Time to brace yourself, here comes the dreaded 'M' word, yup Moderation is the key IMO ;)
That being said, I do use soya once in a while in my kitchen :) Just that I'm not besotted with it, I like a wider variety in food ;)
My friend 'L' is one of the most enthusiastic foodies I know! The way she explains her recipes, the way her eyes light up even while describing the most basic of recipes in her sweet accent is so very charming. I end up making almost all the recipes she describes, this being one of them! Thanks 'L'.
I tried it and it has been a favorite ever since, so unique but very simple to make, just needs a little planning, that's all!
Gobi Aloo Aur Soyabeans ki Subzi (Cauliflower, Potato & Soyabeans Stir fry)
1 Gobi cut into florets (I soak florets in salted hot water to get rid of minute insects, @ 10 mins)
1 Potato cubed
1/2 cup Soyabeans soaked overnight, minimum 5 hrs (see pic)
1 tsp ginger paste
1/2 tsp green chili paste (adjust as per taste)
1.5 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp chili powder (adjust as per taste)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1.5 tbsp oil
2 bay leaves
chopped coriander leaves for garnish
Drain the water from the soaked beans, add fresh water, salt and cook till done but holds shape.

The Before and After pictures of Soya Beans (left before soaking, right after soaking overnight)
These beans taste quite buttery and the seasonings compliment them well.
I pressure cook them for just one whistle, adjust as per your cooker timings.

Mix all the masala powders along with ginger & chili paste with some water to a paste.
Heat oil.
Add bay leaves and fry a few seconds. Add the masala paste and saute till oil separates, takes about a minute.
Add gobi florets and potato, stir well to mix.
Cover and cook for 5 minutes on medium flame. If it starts sticking to the pan, add 1-2 tbsp water.
Add cooked drained beans, cover and cook further till done, about 5-8 minutes. Leave some crunch in, do not let it get soggy.
Gobi Aloo aur Soyabean subzi is ready.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve with roti/chapati and some dal or bowl of curds. You can squeeze some lime juice if you like it a bit sour.
Enjoy this lovely subzi for a change in the routine :)

I assure you, once you taste this subzi you would love to make it often, just like me ;)
My entry to WBB-Soy, hosted by Rajitha.