Thursday, September 27

Whats Your Favorite - Snacks? Round-up and WYF - Diet Food?

Before I list out the lovely and wonderful snacks that I received for the WYF -Snacks event, let me announce the next WYF theme.

I do not know about you guys out there but I frequently go on diet not to cut down my weight and look and slim (I know that can never happen) but to atleast maintain my current weight. So here is my question, what is that you would like to have during your diet period? Is there any such food that tempts you to go on diet (I wonder, if there is anything as such and curious to know)? Or is there any such dish that you love, that you can make to meet your diet plan? In the sense, you may make the dish that you love by substituting its ingredients with a healthier ingredients. Say for ex. substitute white flour/All purpose flour with whole wheat flour, brown sugar instead of white sugar etc., It can be anything a whole meal, a snack, breakfast anything that is good to have while you are dieting. You can present the dish and throw some tips to the dieters out there why and how that dish is good while dieting. You may list out the nutrients that are present by terms of carbs, protein, diary etc., (Only if you know, not a pre-requisite). Hope I made it clear if you still have any doubts, please get back to me.

You can mail your entries to with a link to your entry, your name and the entry name. Please make a note that I do not require any image, I can pick it up from your site. I did that with this round up and I think that is much easy for me.

Here is the logo which you may feel free to use in your posts.

And coming to the round up. I received totally 35 snacks and here are they in no particular order:

Praveena of Simply Spicy says that she loves Murukku/Chakli as her favorite snack and shows in step by step order how to make them.

Asha of Aroma loves to have Dill vadas with coconut mint chutney as her favorite snack. If you want to know the procedure to make these delicious vadas then rush to her blog and note it down.

Namratha of Finger Licking Food makes yummy Vegetable Bajjis which she learned from her mother-in-law. I am sure they taste excellent as mother-in-laws are quite experienced. What Say??

TBC of The Budding Cook makes a very popular Kerala Snack called Pazham Pori and she says they are simple to make and yet very tasty. Aren't they perfect snack?

of Veggie Platter also likes to have plantain as her favorite Snack but by frying them as chips. So her favorite snack is Plantain Chips.

Mona of Zaiqa makes her mom's version of Spicy Keema Samosas and says those are her favorite snacks.

Bharathy of Spicy chilly made her first snack entry which is her favorite and send it across to me. They are Raw Banana Chips.

We have another snack made of Banana called Ghee fried Bananas from Nags of For The Cook In Me. This very simple yet tasty snack.

Shubha of Chutki Bhar Pyar tried something new with a gujarati snack called Fafda twist and that is her favorite snack.

Laksmi from The Yum Blog has sent in her favorite snack which is Oil free Groundnut Snack. A snack with out oil in it is such a great one to have.

Sona of The discovery of a new dish does more for human happiness than the discovery of a new star invents a new snack called Todd-In-A-Hole and says that is her favorite snack. Do check out her blog to find out how to make it.

Rajitha of Hunger Pangs fried some Veggie Bread Rolls and says they are her favorite snacks for two reasons, one they are deep fried in oil which adds crispyness to the bread and another they are not available in the market to buy.

Pooja of Khana Pina made some delicious Samosas and sent us to enjoy. Let me tell you those are my favorite too, but I am very lazy to make them at home. My be these entries will inspire me to make some at home.

Prema of My Cookbook fried up some crispy Thattais, her favorite snacks.

Jayasree from My experiments with food made a snack with Ragi Flour and those are her favorite snacks.

of Aarti's Corner made her's and my husband's favorite snack, Bhel. Believe me or not he has such a craze towards street food, whenever we go to Dallas from San Antonio, he makes sure to have all the chats that he love, and also pack them back to home. Such is his love towards those items.

Hot and Spicy Samosas on a rainy day are sure welcome. These are sent by Manasi Desai of Fun and Food.

Jayasree from My experiments with food made a bunch of snacks for Janmashtami. You can check them out here.

Saira Ginu of A matter of Taste loves to have Green Sandwich at her snack time. What a healthy snack.

Siri of Siri's Corner loves a varities of bajjis as snacks and presents a platter full of variety of Bajjis. Check them out.

Richa of As Dear As Salt has sent a sweet sweet snack called Matthi Puri. Aren't we craving for that after all these savory snacks?

Srivalli of Cooking 4 all Seasons made for the first time her mom's recipe of Nippattu which happens to be her favorite snack too.

Jyothi of World Wide Cooking made some Veg. Manchurian and says those are her favorite snack.

Jyothi of Andhra Spicy fried up some Murukulu and those are her favorite Snack. Jyothi I too request you to put up the recipe there please.

Keerthi of Esculent Cuisine put up some Crispy Chicken Nuggets which are her favorite snacks.

Microwave Masala Peanuts is an easy to make snack from Easy Indian Food.

Cabbage Cashew Pakoda is another snack from Easy Indian Food.

Yet another snack from Easy Indian Food called Healthy Corn Sundal. These are such a healthy and easy to make snacks.

Here is another snack from Easy Indian Food called Onion Pakoda.

Kajal gives a step by step procedure to make Sev Mamara, which is her favorite snack.

Shubha of Chutki Bhar Pyar fried up some crispy Vazhakai Bonda(Raw Banana Bonda) and that is her another favorite snack.

Pooja of Creative Pooja made some hot and tangy Vada Pavs and those are her favorite snacks.

Bee and Jai
of Jugalbandi loves to have Steamed platains as snack and also they provide loads of information about platains and bananas. Do not forget to check out.

of For The Cook In Me made a snack out of leftover bread called Toasted Sugar bread with Honey. That is such a clever idea.

And are you wondering where are my favorite snacks? Here they are:

Mysore bajji, my mom's recipe that I made with the leftover raitha.

My previous entries which are my favorites too:

Mirchi bajji
Eggplant Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers

No wonder I go on diet frequently haan!!!

Enjoy guys, and please if by mistake any of your entries are missing here please drop a line and I will make sure to add them. My sincere apologies in advance.

I apologise Susarla of Tastes From My Kitchen, that I missed her entry here. Though she did not remind me, I came across and would like to add to the list. Once again, my sincere apology Susarla.

Her favorite snack is Mangoloore Bajji. As you can see they are looking so mouth watering.

Tuesday, September 25

Dosavakayi (Dosakai Avakayi)/ Melon Cucumber Pickle

Some spices like cumin, mustard, fenugreek etc are used quite commonly in the south indian cooking. Be it curry, dal, sambar or chutneys we use mustard for sure in the tempering/tadka. But there are certain dishes in which these spices can show their presence predominantly. One such dish in which you can feel the presence of mustard seeds is Dosavakayi, an andhra pickle made with melon cucumbers.

Andhra is famous for its pickles like Avakayi (Pickle made with mango), Goose berries(Aamla/Usirikaya), Lime(Nimmakaya/Nimbu), Tomato and many other pickles made with varities of vegetables. I had some Melon cucumbers in my refrigerator and I decided to make avakayi with them. Mustard seeds are called Avalu in Telugu and so is the pickle named after them as Avakayi. It is a medley of vegetable and mustard seeds powder, with some salt and red chilli powder.

Here is the recipe for Dosavakayi:

3 cups Melon cucumbers chopped into 1/2" cubes
1/3 cup Mustard seed powder (Check below how I made)
1/3 cup Red chilli powder
1/3 cup Salt
1 tsp Turmeric powder (You can use 1/2 tsp if you do not like the smell of it)
2/3 cup Sesame oil (Nuvvula noone)

I made this pickle with the guidance of my mom. I never made pickles at home. I usually get them from India. My mom never taught and she says as long as I am here I will make them for you. She is scared that my hands will burn when I stick my hand into those chilli powders. That is so nice of her... though I was curious to learn them, I still let it go as she was so caring about me. Finally now I got a chance to make it myself and thank god, I did not have to stick my hand into it. I mixed it with a spoon.

I did not have mustard seed powder, so my mom suggested two solutions. One dry the mustard seeds in the hot sun for an hour and then grind them to powder or heat a pan on the stove, switch off the stove and pour some mustard seeds into that pan. Do not fry them, they just have to become hot thats it. Let them cool and then powder them in mixie. Sieve the powder to extract soft powder. Use 1/3 cup of that powder in the pickle.

Mix them all in a wide dish and take them into a plastic/glass bowl cover it tight and taste it after a day or two. That way the cucumber will get marinated in these spices and will taste excellent. You can serve this with warm rice and a dollop of ghee or oil. Enjoy.

Note: Please be cautious that you do not drop any water into the pickle as that can spoil it after few days. If you wash cucumbers, pat dry and see there is not water on them. You do not have to peel the cucumber let the skin stay on them.

This is my entry for Think Spice.. Think Mustard seeds event hosted by Sunita at Sunita's World.

Monday, September 24

Instant Dosa for WBB #15

This saturday we hosted a party for our friends on the occassion of my daughter's first birthday. And guess what, I cook all the food. My husband was little hesitant when I said I want to cook for this event :), he said are you sure. I am not sure what he meant by asking that question. Did he meant that I can't cook for the crowd (about 25 people) or did he meant that I am not a good cook or was he concerned that I will get tired after cooking all those dishes. Whatever, reason, he finally nodded his head in acceptance, which made me happy. His initial idea was to throw a party in a restaurant and get over with it, which I changed and hosted the party and the near by pool that we have in our apartment complex.

I started cooking on friday evening itself as I did not want to overwhelm myself and also was not in a mood to chase with the time. I was in the mood to cook leasurely and relaxed. And another reason is that I have only jumbo sized dish with which I have to make 3 curries and one big pressure cooker with which I have to make a dal and sambar. Well, these are the dishes that I made, Mattar Paneer, Bagara Baingan, Raw Mango Dal, Pumpkin Sambar, Aloo Bonda, Vegetable Biryani, Kheer (Semiya payasam), Raitha and ofcourse White Rice. I made the Mattar Paneer, Bagara Baingan, Dal, Sambar and curry for Aloo Bonda on friday and on Saturday morning I made Biryani, kheer, raitha, white rice and finally fried the Aloo Bondas. Took out those curries, dal and sambar from the refrigerator, heated them up in the oven at 150 degrees F.This time my husband was so happy with me, first thing is that we were not late as usually we do and second thing is that everyone loved the food. We got good complements for the party as well as for the food. Everyone liked the basic idea of having a party at pool as the parents of the kids did not have to worry about them. The kids had fun time in the pool including my one year daughter. Initially she was little scared as we introduced her to the huge tub of water (Swimming pool) but gradually she loved being in the water.

What is that you talk about for sure when you throw a party. Did you guess it right? I say it is the leftovers. You may forget talking about anything but not this. Looking at the food left in those trays you worry, how many days will I have to preserve these in the fridge and eat. This time, surprisingly we did not have much of the left over food at all, especially, biryani, mattar paneer and bagara baingan neatly cleaned by the crowd. So we were left out with some dal, sambar, white rice and some raitha. So I made couple of dishes with raitha, one of which is going to Nandita for her WBB #15 event hosted at Saffron Trail, and another one is going to my own WYF-Snacks event.

Instant Dosa:

1/2 cup Whole wheat flour
1/2 cup All purpose flour
1/4 cup Rice flour
1 1/2 cup raitha(Butter milk, onion, tomato, cilantro and salt) or more if needed
Salt as per taste
1 tsp cumin seeds

Mix them all together. Add some water if needed to make it into right consistency. I like these dosas to be little sour so, I left raitha outside for that night and on sunday morning I mixed the flours and other ingredients to it.

Heat tawa or a non-stick pan, pour a laddle full of batter over it. Pour a tsp of oil around the dosa circle and after couple of minutes very gently turn it onto other side. After a minute slide that into a plate. Serve it with any chutney that you have at home. I served them with some Mango pickle (Aavakaya).

Mysore Bajji:My mom use to make these while we were kids. My version may not look like the Mysore bonda which are served in the hotels, made into perfect shaped round balls, but these are perfect at their taste. I think in Andhra, the mysore bajjis are made with Maida, if I am not wrong. My mom too makes them with maida but I changed it into half and half. Half whole wheat flour and half all purpose flour.

Ingredients are the same as that are used for Instant dosa, only difference is that this batter will be little thick than the dosa batter. Heat oil and drop small balls of batter into the hot oil. Deep fry them until they turn golden brown colour. Take them out and serve them with any chutney that you like. I served them with some Maggie Tom-chi sauce.

I wish I could click a photo of Aloo bondas, which are also my favorite snacks. I was upset with my husband that he did not click a photo of all those lovely dishes that I made so that I could put up here proudly, saying this was my first achievement as a cook. Well, may be someother time. Hope you guys enjoyed my entries. Enjoy.

Oh! by the way, I took off on sunday from my regular sunday meals session as we had the same leftovers on Sunday too. White rice served with mango dal, pumpkin sambar and mysore bajjis.

Thursday, September 20

Two girls story....

I still remember last year in the month of September, my doctor asked me to get admitted into hospital. I was so nervous, so was my husband. So we became busy packing the necessary things and got admitted into the hospital on September 19th. The nurses there greeted with their warm welcome and gave me a gown to change into. One nurse came to fix the IV, she rubbed on one of my hands with alcohol, well, she was trying to find the vein, she failed and moved on to another hand. I saw this hand bleeding and poor me who is scared of needles and pokes etc., got scared and asked her did she poke me, I dint feel anything as such. She replied, oh well, I have no idea, I just rubbed with alcohol and then it started bleeding. Hmm.. there was nothing I could say, I kept quite. She started on the other hand, she poked 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and I was praying God, please help me, this lady is doing keema of my hand. She was unable to find the vein and she kept saying sorry sweety, sorry honey ... no luck. I told her to try on the back of the wrist which is easy to find, she did not listen to me, finally after her supervisor said its fine, then she saved me by finding the vein at one poke. Cool, one down, how many more to go??? was the question.

Next day, a lady came to me to give epidural (Epidural? well you guys guessed, I joined hospital for delivery). She poked once, and goes, oh sorry honey, I missed, let me try once again. Devuda, emi jarugutondi (God, whats happening, why me? you know I dont like needles, and nothing is successful on one shot). The doctor induced but no success, I think my daughter was happy inside me and din't want to come out. The doctor came in the evening and said ok thats it, we have to operate and get the baby out. Now I started shivering, guess why... the IV was not successful at one shot, the epidural was not successful at one shot, god tell me honestly do you think doctor will be successful at one shot??? Well, I had no other go but to keep my mouth shut and go into operation room, by September 20th, 2006 at 7.38 pm my little princess was born. A moment of silence, tears dropped out of my eyes, looking at her... and nothing more to say, I forgot all the pain ... and the rest of the healing process went on which I don't even remember now.

That was an auspicious day for us (me and my husband) and the same auspicious day has turned today to celebrate her one year birthday. And need not say, we did celebrate with some delicious dishes and my daughter got dressed up in my favorite attire (pattu langa). We went to temple in the evening, had some good time at a restaurant and pretty soon the day was over. Isn't it amazing to see your kids to grow so soon... Hmm... or is it me being so emotional on this special day? May God bless her with Health and Wealth....

Tuesday, September 18

Sunday Meals # 7 - Karnataka Cuisine

I am back with my sunday meal after a long break. And let me make you sure that I am still alive and please do not stop sending me those wonderful snacks. The due date for the event is 25th of this month.

The theme for this sunday meal is Karnataka cuisine. I love some of the dishes specific to that cuisine, like vangi bath, bisi bele bath, Mysore Masala dosa, Mysore bonda etc., Well, do not expect to see these here in my post, if you too love them as I do, then do not miss to visit Foodie's Hope where our dear Asha is hosting the RCI - Karnataka Cuisine. I will be present there on that occassion to collect the recipes of all those wonderful dishes.
I managed to make 2 curries a sambar and some rice for this sunday. As this saturday was Vinayaka Chavithi for us, and I made some specials like undrallu, payasam and chinthapandu pulihora (chitranna). I did not make any lengthy list dishes on sunday.

Most of the south indian cuisines share the same recipes only the name differs like for ex. pulihara is telugu word, chitranna kannada word, puliyogare is tamil and we are referring to the same dish. So, the items that I made belong to telugu, tamil cuisines too like Sambar that I made belongs to South Indian cuisine, rather than to any one particular cuisine.
This meal is simple and satisfying and can be made pretty quick. Hope you guys will also enjoy along with me.

Here is the list of items:

Green beans palya
Cauliflower, green peas palya
Drumstick Sambar

Recipe for Green beans palya:

1 packet frozen green beans
Salt as per taste
a pinch of Turmeric powder
1 tbsp oil

To grind into Powder:

1 tbsp channa dal (senaga pappu)
1 tbsp urad dal (mina pappu)
1 1/2 tbsp coriander seeds (dhaniyalu)
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
5 long dry red chillies (endu mirapakayalu)
3-4 curry leaves
1 tsp oil

1. Heat a tsp of oil in a pan and fry the above ingredients until they turn golden brown. Take them into a grinder jar and grind them to form soft powder.

2. Heat a tbsp of oil in the same pan and add the green beans. Add some salt and turmeric powder to that. Cover and cook until green beans is half cooked.

3. Add the grinded powder to the green beans and mix it to bring them together. Cover and cook until the beans is completely cooked.

Recipe for Cauliflower, green peas palya:

1/2 of big Cauliflower
1/4 cup green peas
salt as per taste
a pinch of turmeric powder
4 to 5 serrano peppers
3-4 curry leaves chopped
2 tbsp coconut powder

For tadka/talimpu/tempering:

2 tsp oil
1 tsp channa dal (senaga pappu)
1 tsp urad dal (mina pappu)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds (aavalu)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)

1. Heat the oil in a pan and add the tempering ingredients, green chillies/serrano peppers, curry leaves. When they turn golden brown add the cauliflower, salt, turmeric powder and coconut powder. Mix well, cover and cook until cauliflower is half cooked.

2. Add the green peas and cook until cauliflower is completely cooked and there is no water left in the curry.

Recipe for Sambar:

15 pieces of Frozen drumstick
3/4 cup Toor dal (kandi pappu)
Salt as per taste
a pinch of Turmeric powder
1 tsp Red chilli powder
1 tbsp MTR Sambar powder
1 big lemon size tamarind ball
3-4 curry leaves

For tempering/tadka/talimpu:

2 tsp oil
1 tsp urad dal
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
a pinch of hing

1. Wash and pressure cook dal until 3 whistles. Soak tamarind in plenty of water.

2. Squeeze the tamarind pulp and to that add the drumstick pieces, curry leaves and cook over medium flame.

3. Add salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and cooked mashed dal with some water. After it comes to first boil, add the sambar powder and let it boil until drumstick pieces are completely cooked and the sambar should be little thick. So wait until water evaporates, if you see too much of water in the sambar.

4. In another pan fry the tempering ingredients in 2 tsp oil and add to the sambar.

So those are the dishes with which we finished our sunday meals happily. Enjoy.

This is my contribution to RCI-Karnataka cuisine hosted by Asha at Foodie's Hope.

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