Monday, February 25, 2013

Mooli Muthia

Recently I bought Radish during the usual grocery shopping. I had heard a lot about the health benefits of radish. But so far I had not included the vegetable in my diet. The main reason for that was radish was not at all used for cooking in both mine and my husband's household. Some times we get introduced to new vegetables and dishes through our friends. But I never saw radish being used for cooking in my friend's houses as well... Hmm... Somehow this time I had the most curious urge to buy this vegetable and learn how to cook it... And I must say all my curiousity and enthusiasm for cooking comes only during the grocery shopping... After buying Radish, two weeks it stayed in my refrigerator because I still hadnt figured out how to cook it out... He He... After researching a lot, finally I decided to make Mooli Parathas which sounded like the best way to try out the Radish. Now I have to confess something. My husband makes better Rotis than me. Yes .. Its true... He has stayed in northern parts of India for a long time and makes better chappathis than me... So usually all my attempts for Parathas are reserved to a time when he is at home which means mostly the week ends... But he has been so busy with work these days that we didnt get a chance to try out Mooli Parathas so far on week ends as well. And I found myself trying to create a dish out of Radish on a week day for lunch as all my vegetables got over in the middle of a week :( I was almost about to stop my research on Radish and go for normal Dal for lunch when I found the recipe for Mooli Moong Dal which turned out to be really yummy. I will post that recipe real soon. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Mushroom Biryani

Around one year back if some body told me that they had made mushroom biryani, then my thought flow would have gone something like this... OMG Mushroom Biryani!! Amazing!! What all do people cook? How does some one cook so nicely... When will I get to cook all the dishes that others are cooking.. Well, I can now cross off one item of the dishes to be cooked in my life time. Today morning I saw the mushroom in the refrigerator and decided to cook Mushroom Biryani for lunch. Mushroom was another dish never prepared at my home. I am not sure why... May be because my mom was not aware of cooking it or may be it wasnt available locally in the markets... Even when went out to restaurants, we never seemed to order any mushroom items... I remember the first time I had mushrooms... I was staying with my friends and we used to have a cook prepare lunch for us every day... One Saturday he prepared chicken curry for non vegetarians and mushroom curry for vegetarians... I didnt care much for the taste of mushrooms then.. May be because our cook didnt prepare it that well I guess... Anyway I recently I tried mushroom roast and it came out well... I had prepared mushroom gravy as well which came out nice.. But didnt get the time to take pics and post the recipe.. Need to do that soon Hmm.. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Chana Cutlet or Chickpea Cutlet

After a long time, I decided to make Chana Masala and soaked Kabuli Chana last night. I always decide the day before what I should cook the next day. Sometimes I cut and keep vegetables and other ingredients required for the dish ready the day before it self so that I can cook fast the next day. How ever being prepared do not help me always.  Things do not work sometimes (read always :( )  according to my plan. Disasters ( Read Cooking emergencies) occur during the time of cooking ... Sometimes due to negligence... Sometimes due to lack of knowledge... Sometimes due to the basic circumstances in our home... While cooking my chana masala, I overcooked the chanas in my eagerness to prepare the perfect chana masala possible. Well, That didnt prevent me from cooking up my chana masala... I have mastered the habit of ignoring my hubby's complaints ( less salt, no sugar... the list is endless). I mashed up some of my overcooked chanas to add to the gravy and I started reminiscing the days when I first started cooking with my room mates. Well, cooking is relaxing for me and that is the time I use sometimes to clear up my thoughts....  And suddenly just like that, I thought of cutlets... And felt a craving to eat them all of a sudden... Brain storming ... trying to find sufficient time in life to cook cutlets... I hate potatoes and do not like to eat them unless its french fries... sigh... cant survive with out junk food and with junk food as well... Hmm... My mashed chanas are giving me an idea... why not try cutlets with chana instead of potatoes... The idea was big and exciting for me... And the disappointing thing was I couldnt find time the whole day to try them out... Next day I couldnt control myself and prepared them the first thing in the morning. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Pakkavada Baked and Healthy version

Pakkavada is one of the favorite tea time snack of Keralites. My mom in law prepares it every time we go home as it is my hubby's favorite snack... He loves it so much that he keeps on munching it at home. Pakkavada for non keralites is a besan and rice flour mixed snack deep fried in oil. Since its deep fried, I do not prefer my hubby having it at all times... I make different kinds of healthy snacks for my husband and he loves them all and finishes them without complaints even when it doesnt turn out well... But I know that his favorite is still pakkavada and I started feeling guilty for not letting him have it too much... Now a days I bake many dishes instead of deep frying it and So I thought why not try this on pakkavada and check... How ever I did not have rice flour with me. So I used wheat flour along with Besan and Yes, it did work !! My baked pakkavada turned out great and my hubby loved it !!! So thought of sharing the recipe in my blog...

Friday, February 8, 2013


Today I prepared Poha for dinner. Being a Keralite, Poha was not familiar to me till around 3 years back . The first time I heard about it was after my marriage. Since my hubby had stayed in North India for a couple of years, he was familiar with their dishes. One Saturday my hubby said that he will prepare Poha as break fast and I was like what do you meant by Poha. Then he prepared Poha for me. It tasted really good and we started having Poha frequently at home. Around 1 year later, I happened to stay with a couple of my friends and they prepared Poha in a different way than my hubby's. And I realized that was the usual way of preparing Poha... I enjoy both versions and today I will share the usual way of preparing Poha. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Simple Cake

Today I baked a Rava Cake and a simple white cake. And both turned out perfect :)... You may be wondering why the sudden marathon to bake 2 cakes in one day... I am just trying to figure out the best cake that I should bake for Valentine's day... 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Semolina Cake or Eggless Rava Cake

Today I went to our gym in the apartment and tried cycling. The cycling machine usually displays how many calories you have burned so far, how much time do you need to continue cycling to burn your target calories , your cycling speed and so on, provided.... Yes, there is a glitch.. Provided you can get the display on. Now to get that on, you should cycle first and then press the start button. So, I started cycling and then pressed the start machine on the button.. Nope, no display... Quickly read the instructions on the machine. You need to cycle at 50rpm before you can get the machine on.... So continued cycling... pressed start button...  no use.. still no display... continued cycling.. tried to do it with more speed... legs getting tired now.. started thinking idiotic things... oh my god, whats the time.... no idea.. continued cycling.. pressed the start button on the machine.. nope.. still no display... Legs aching very badly... nope .. I am not giving up... pressed the start button again... no use... no display...That was it... decided to give up :(... I know that this machine works because my hubby had displayed it to me last week... But it was disappointing to know that I couldnt even cycle at the required speed to switch the display on the machine!!!! And to top it all, when I reached home from the gym, it was not even 10 min since I started off!!!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Soya Biryani

Today I was feeling very lazy to do anything. Slept for a longer time today and finally woke up and didnt feel like cooking much. Hence decided to go for my usual biryani filled with veggies. For a variation, added soya chunks to the biryani. It turned out good and I was happy that I could include more protein for lunch :)

Soya Biryani 

Prep Time: 2hrs (only because of soaking rice prior)
Cook Time: 30 min
Total Time: 2hrs 30min


1 cup Basmati Rice
1 cup veggies - I used carrots, beans and capsicum. You can also add potatoes, cauliflower or peas
1/2 cup Soya chunks
1 Big onion
1 green chilly
1 Tomato
1 Teaspoon Ginger Garlic Paste
1/4 Teaspoon Turmeric
1/2 Teaspoon Chilly Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Garam Masala
1 Cinnamon stick
1 Cardamom 
1 Bay Leaf
Coriander Leaves
Mint (Puthina) Leaves
1 Teaspoon Cumin seeds
3 Teaspoon Curd
1 Teaspoon Oil


Step 1: Soak Basmati Rice for around 2hrs. 

Step 2: Cut onion, green chilly and all the veggies. 

Step 3: Boil the veggies using pressure cooker for 1 whistle. OR you can use the microwave. I microwaved carrots and capsicum for 3 min, beans for 4 min.

Step 4: Boil the soya chunks adding little water, cardamom, cinnamon and bay leaf till they are cooked. Should take around 10min on medium flame. Squeeze excess water if present after boiling.  

Step 5: Preparing the gravy

  • Heat Oil in a pan. Once the oil becomes hot, add cumin seeds and let it crackle. Then add onions and fry till they are brown.
  • Add ginger garlic paste and green chilly now and stir for 2 minutes. (Always add green chillies according to the spiciness of the ones you are using) 
  • Now add tomato and fry till they are mushy.
  • Mix vegetables and fry for 2min. 
  • Lower the flame and add turmeric, chilly powder and garam masala. Mix well.
  • Add coriander and mint leaves. 
  • Now add curd and mix well. Switch off after 2 min. Thick gravy is prepared. 

Method of Preparing:

Step 1: 

Cook Rice till they are 3/4 cooked. Drain water if present after cooking. 

Step 2:

Mix soya chunks and cooked rice. 

Step 3: Layering of the Biryani

  • Grease the bottom of the pressure cooker with little oil. You can also use ghee instead of oil. 
  • Now add half of the cooked rice and soya.
  • Add the gravy.
  • Add the remaining cooked rice and soya.
  • Sprinkle some water over the top.
  • Close the pressure cooker and cook with out whistle for 8 - 10min.
  • Open after half an hour and serve with Raitha. 

You can also fry onions till golden brown and cashews till they are brown, in ghee or oil and layer them in between the rice and gravy. 

Sending the recipe to the event "Dish name starts with S" at Akilaskitchen.