Saturday, June 30, 2012

Curried Pasta!

The first I had this was when my cousin had taken a cooking class before her wedding. When she came home with this dish, we were all waiting eagerly and must have got a bite each. Yet the tangyness and flavor still lingers on even after 20 long yrs! Anytime I make this, I immediately get transported back to those days - we had so much fun in her wedding. My 10th exams had just got over - perfect time for a wedding in those carefree days after 10th and before college (aka +2) begins! Hmmm..go on, enjoy the recipe and the pics! :)


Macaroni / Penne Pasta - 1 cup
Salt - as per taste
Canola oil -  1/2 tsp, just a sprinkle to keep the pasta separate
Water - to boil the pasta and cook


Cook the pasta Al-dente as per the instructions on the packet. Drain the water and keep the pasta aside. Retain the water to use later in the sauce or to add to the pasta to make it more wet during the later part of cooking.


Onion - 1 medium, chopped
Dry red chilli - 2-3
Tomato Paste - 2 tbsp
Capsicum - 1/2 chopped
Curry Powder - 1 tsp (optional)
Red Chilli powder - 1/8 tsp, or as per taste
Canola oil - 1 tbsp
Salt - as per taste
Turmeric Powder - a dash for the color (optional)


Heat Canola oil.
Add dry red chilli and let it brown. Be careful not to burn it.
Add Onions and cook them.You can add a dash of Turmeric Powder for color (optional).
Add the Tomato Paste and mix well. Add a few drops of water to make it easy to mix.
Add Curry Powder and Red Chilli Powder. Mix well.
Add the cooked Pasta and mix it well. Cover it for 2 mins for the flavors to mix well.
Add the Capsicum few mins before you stop the cooking so that it remains crunchy.
Adjust the Salt as per your preference.
Garnish with a sprig of Coriander leaves or Parsley.

La and voila, the curried Pasta is here!
For some this may be Pasta pardon me but my Indian taste likes it! :)

And ofcourse, this goes for my own event "Let's Party - Fusion Food" ongoing in my space till July 14th.

"Let's Party - Fusion Food" Logo

Have fun with this as well as the other entries that have already started coming in - I look forward to many other entries - how about one from you? Look forward to hear from one and all - have a great Summer weekend!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Tomato Poda


Tomato - 2 large
Onion - 1 small, chopped
Green chilli - 1-2 or more, depending on how hot you like your food! ;)
Fresh Coriander leaves - 2 tbsp, chopped
Salt - a pinch
Sugar - a pinch


Take a heavy-bottom utensil and roast the Tomatoes till it is soft and cooked.
Slightly burning the Tomatoes gives it a nice charred taste.
You should be able to mash the Tomatoes using a spoon at the end of this process.
Add the chopped Onions, chopped Green Chillis and Salt\Sugar.
Mix them well and serve as a side-dish in the main course.

You could also pass this off as Salsa with chips! :)

In the meanwhile, we had a surprise discovery that we have a nice mall very close to our close. And the best part was that it also has a Pinkberry store in there. I had heard so much about it from friends and family but never had a chance to taste before. So went all-in for it after bowling and I was more than delighted on seeing the flavors and their toppings - wow! I am going back in there soon. Pic below shows the Watermelon flavor with yogurt crunchies as topping...yumm!!

Saturday, June 23, 2012



Onions - 1 large, chopped into thin slices
Ginger - 1 inch, chopped into jullienes
Fresh Green Chilli - 4-5
Canola oil - 2 tbsp
Shan Khichra Mix - 1 packet


Heat Canola oil.
Add Ginger and fresh Green Chilli and let it cook for a minute.
Follow the instructions in the Shan package. This needs to be pressure cooked.

After the pressure releases, serve in small bowls as you would serve soup.
Garnish with the onions fried into crisps.

The whole wheat in the Khichra has a unique texture. Adding the Onion crisps gives it a nice twist. We loved this dish - it was very filling, hot and delicious. However, lately, I am not finding it in our grocery store - hope I can lay my hand on some real soon!

Btw, this is supposed to made with Mutton - I kept it vegeterian and still it tasted out of this world!

This dish is being posted for dear friend Lori who had asked for this recipe quite sometime back. Sorry for the delay, dear!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Corn Tikki

When Kalyani from Sizzling Tastebuds posted the Makai Tikki/Corn Tikki a few days back, I was pretty sure I had to make it some day soon. And so did I for a Friday evening potluck with friends. I should say it was so inviting that I could not resist tasting some as I was making them! :) Mine turned out a little on the softer side - so it's better to watch out the amount of water you add when pulsing the veggie mix. Added a little extra Bread crumbs and fixed it. Thank you, Kalyani, for this delicious recipe.

This dish is kinda similar to another dish I had tried once much before my blogging days - it involved dipping bread slices in milk, adding the veggie mix using corn mainly on top and sprinkling with roasted sesame seeds. Gotta find that recipe and make it again - R and his friends had loved it and R still talks about it! So when making these corn tikkis, I took inspiration from the other dish and added some roasted sesame seeds for decor. I also added some boiled Potatoes to make it hold it's shape. Slight twists but almost the same recipe as Kalyani's! :)


Corn Cob – 4

Onion - 1/2 medium
Frozen Carrot\Peas mix - 1 cup
Salt – to taste
Chat Masala - 1 tsp
Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp (or as per taste preference)
Green Chilli - optional, as per taste preference

White Pepper powder – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 TBSP
Cumin / Jeera powder – ½ TBSP
Turmeric – a dash
Lemon juice – 1 tsp
Mint leaves - a few sprigs (Coriander leaves would also work)

Potato - 5 small, boiled and mashed
Bread crumbs – 1 cup + some more to coat the Tikkis when shallow-frying - reduce this if your mix is dry enough. 1 cup is when I added about 3/4 cup of water when pulsing the veggies and corn.

Canola Oil – to shallow fry
Roasted sesame seeds for garnishing the Tikkis - a few tbsps


Cover the Corn Cobs with sufficient water and pressure cook for 1 whistle. Let it sit aside till the cover opens by itself. Using a sharp knife, chop off the kernels and keep them aside.

Thaw the frozen Carrot\Peas mix to room temperature.

Dry roast the Sesame seeds.

Using a Grinder, pulse the Onion, thawed Carrot\Peas mix, Salt, Chat Masala, Red Chilli Powder, Green Chilli (optional), White Pepper powder, Coriander powder, Cumin / Jeera powder,Turmeric and Lemon juice. This just smells so tangy - my mouth waters even now thinking of it! :)))

Add the Corn kernels and little water to the Grinder. Continue pulsing. Keep the mix rough in texture - don't fine-grind it. Try to add as little water as your Grinder can handle - else the mix will be watery and the Tikkis will not hold their shape.

Take the mixture in a container. Add extra salt if required. Add the mashed Potatoes and Bread Crumbs. Mix it well. Make small rounds of the mixture. Roll them in hand into small balls. Press them ligthly on some bread crumbs taken in a flat plate. Keep it round or elliptical in shape - these are the Tikkis.

Heat oil in a flat gridle.

Place the Tikkis and cook them in Medium heat for a few mins. As you place the Tikki in the warm oil, sprinkle some roasted Sesame seeds on them and lightly push them onto the Tikki so it sticks. Get one side lightly browned before you turn it to cook the other side.

Enjoy the Tikkis anytime with anything - it goes great with some sliced Onions mixed with Tomato ketchup (a dash of Green Chilli Sauce would rock!) ... This is going for my event "Let's Party - Fusion Food" presently ongoing in my space till July 14th.


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Dahi Bara yet again and Random thoughts!

I have to share this click with you all! I have this plant since the last three years and it has always come back vibrantly every single year without any extra care from my end. The flowers are so pretty but I never got a chance to click them in bloom. Just the other day, I was heading out to work while I saw it has it's first bloom. Not to miss the chance, immediately took out my camera and took a shot! No instagram, no editing, this was taken in a single shot! Even today, I love looking at it - what colors! I just love it! One of my friend who is an awesome painter has even thought of converting this to painting - wow, can there be a better compliment? :)

Google Mailer... 

Recently received a mailer from Google with a coupon to use their ad service for my blog. I am less likely to use it but it was kind of a validation that my blog is being noticed. :) Being termed a "small business" was also a new one for me - never thought of it like that - so refreshing that I am all the more pepped up to keep my blog going! :)

Red Velvet Cupcakes 

We have always loved the Red Velvet Cake with Cream-cheese frosting from Costco. Recently, we found that they have also got cupcake versions of the same. How could I resist getting them? ;) It was undoubtedly delicious and equal in flavor to the cake. It's gonna be a regular in our house henceforth! :)

Dahi Bara 

For the recipe, follow this link please. Enjoy this very popular street-food of Cuttack, Orissa - my mamu ghara (maternal family) is there! :)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

"Let's Party - Fusion Food" Event Announcement

"Lets Party" is a monthly event started by Surabhi Nayak of My Cook Book. Reading certain posts related to this event, I ran across it. This got me intrigued and as I was restarting my blog, I thought this will be a good opportunity to start hosting events as well. If I am jumping back into blogging, let's go full-fledged! :) So I reached out to her and voila - I was in! Thank you, dear Surabhi, for giving me the opportunity to host the event for this month. I promise to take good care of your "baby"! :)

This month's theme will be Fusion food or food with a twist. No, I don't mean dancing food - how crazy will that be! ;) Or even "Muruku" or Banana which are twisted in shape. :D Glad to have that confusion out of the way and a minor attempt at trying to be witty and funny in the same sentence! 

What I really mean is food that has been modified from it's original indigenous form. It can be something that you learnt from a fellow blogger or you just found it by "accident" when experimenting around your kitchen. Hey, if it suits your taste - likely someone else may also like it! So time to put your thinking caps on and come up with posts that fit this event's category - one request, no human being, particularly, family members and friends should be subjected to any harm - intentional or unintentional (read, "force-fed your experimental concoctions") to participate in this event! ;)

Hope you get the idea from some of the examples shown below -
  • Indo-Chinese food such as Chilli Chicken, Machurian available in most Indian restaurants
  • Chilli Chicken using Coconut oil \ Curry leaf !
  • American Chopsuey - noone knows why it is called American when you don't find it anywhere in the US! Need to clarify here that I am referring to the Indo-Chinese version here. Update on 06/27/2012 - Chef Mireille added a comment that American Chopsuey is available in New York - I did some research and found via the following links that such an item does exist. BUT it is much different from the American Chopsuey widely available in Chinese restaurants\fast food joints in India. To explain briefly, the New York version is macaroni and beef whereas the Indian version is crispy noodles with a sweet and tangy sauce made of veggies, tomato and chicken. Thanks for the comment - it helped me learn something definitely! I will no longer say that it is not available in US, but the version I am referring to is not available in US. It baffles me even more now how that name came about for this dish in India!! :)
 US version related links
    • recipe link
    • Sparkpeople recipe link 
    • Wikipedia entry link
Indo-Chinese version related links
    • Indo-Chinese version link
    • Someone else echoing my same thoughts in Khana Khazana! link
    • A recipe using Maggi noodles link  

  • Golgappas \ Pani Puri using shots! 
  • Papdi Chat using Tostitos chips! 
  • Aloo\Paneer Tiki Burgers!
  • Indian curry style Pasta!
  • Pizza with Mexican base such as black beans, corn, salsa, sour cream, lettuce - just had it today at California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) - immediately thought of fusion food! :) Added this to the list on 06/27
  • Chicken Tikka Masala I believe is also a fusion food - forget who recently posted about this, but there was a nice post related to this - will share it soon if I can find it.
This event runs from 15th June to 14th July, 2012. Sooooooooo, let's get the entries rolling in ...

"Let's Party - Fusion Food" Logo

Rules for the Event:
  1. The theme for "Lets Party" will be "Fusion food". 
  2. Vegetarian & Non-Vegetarian dishes are allowed (No Beef/Pork).
  3. Recipes must be linked to this event announcement page and to Surabhi's page.
  4. Please post your link below and usage of the logo is mandatory.
  5. As many entries are allowed.Archives are welcome only if re-posted and linked back to the announcement page(only 1).
  6. Must be a follower at blog.
  7. There are three awards to be given:
    • Top Contributor Award
    • Best Recipe Award
    • Participation Award
  8. If you are having any problems linking up using the Link Manager below,just send me my email 
    • Sub: Let's Party -"Fusion Food"
    • Your Name:
    • Recipe Name:
    • Recipe URL:
    • Recipe Photo:
  9. Non-Bloggers can also send me an email with the details as below: 
    • Sub: Let's Party - "Fusion Food"
    • Your Name:
    • Recipe Name:
    • Email Address:
    • Recipe Photo:
    • Recipe in .doc format or .pdf format
Entry submission link:
We welcome you to take part in this party with all your Fusion food ideas. Bring it on!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Sleeping Biryani!

When in mood for some vegeterian version of the Biryani (usually it means spiced rice with meat like lamb or chicken), this is the version I go to. The soya granules are full of protein and have a meat-like texture. The crushed spices add a zing to the whole dish beyond one's imagination till one tastes it. I love crushing the spices together - the aroma is so very enticing.


Soak the 1/2 cup Soya Granules in hot water for 30 mins

Crush 5 Cloves, 2 black Cardamon and 2 Cinnamon. Keep aside.

Heat 2 tbsp Canola oil, add 2 dry Bay leaf, chopped 1-2 Onions, grated 1-inch Ginger, 3 tbsp Biryani Masala, the Cloves-Cardamom-Cinnamon Powder mix, 1 tsp Coriander powder, Salt as per taste, 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder, 1 tsp Red Chilli powder.

Add the soaked Soya granules and continue cooking for another 10-15 mins.

Cook 1 cup rice and keep aside - preferably room temperature. Warm rice with Jeera (aka Cumin seed)-flavored oil, add the above Soya granule mixture, sprinkle some fresh Lime juice.

Voila! You are good to have a delicious meal.

I know you are still thinking right now "Ok I get the recipe, blah, blah, blah..why the heck have you titled this post as "Sleeping Biryani!"?" (I hope! If not, shame on you for not paying attention to the important things in life! :p)..drum roll, trumpet...ready? "Soya" Biryani - what is it's English translation? ;) You can laugh now..come on, it was not that bad!

Have a good day! :)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sabudana Thalipeeth

I first read this recipe from Pranati's blog which is posted here. It seemed easy to follow, so I made it that evening for dinner. It was easy to make and provided us a wholesome dinner with new flavors. I served it with Indian-style Garlic pickle. My Sabudana Upma is not that reliable yet, so knowing about this recipe (and more importantly, liking it as well!) is good for me to usefully use up this one item in my pantry.

Pranati mentions that this is a Maharastrian recipe. Sabudana is one food item that is good for the fasting days. My MIL mixes it with yogurt and banana - am sure that is a wholesome meal for those fasting days. Following is the recipe almost same as Pranati's with a few changes outlining how I made it.


1 cup Sabudana / Sago seeds
1 potato boiled
Green chillies
Cumin seeds / Red Chilli Powder - 1 tsp
Crushed Peanut powder - 1/2 cup
Salt to taste
Sugar - pinch
Ghee or Butter
Chopped coriander leaves- a few sprigs


Wash and soak sabudana (sago) in water for atleast 2 hrs. (I had left mine soaked for a 3-4 hrs and them removed the water and left it in the fridge for a day - just letting you know this also works, not that I recommend you do this..I wanted to make this but something else came up for dinner that night, so had to push this recipe for the next night!)

Drain the excess water and keep aside.

Mix Green Chillies and Cumin seeds / Red Chilli Powder.

Mix soaked sabudana, mashed Potato , coriander leaves, salt, Sugar, peanut powder together and make a dough.  Sprinkle water if required and knead it to the dough as shown below.

Make small round balls of the dough.

Take any plastic sheet, sprinkle few drops of water on plastic sheet, Flatten them using your hands on plastic sheets. (What I did was place the dough in lukewarm skillet and spread it using the back of my hand. The plastic sheet approach was messy for me! :( Coat some oil/ water on  your palms so that it doesn't stick. )

Heat pan on a medium high, add some oil and place Thalipeeth.

When you hear the crackling sound, flip it on the other side and let it cook till it gets nice golden color from both the sides.

Serve hot with Yogurt, Pickle, Chutney or Tomato Sauce....

Disney Milk Chocs and Food ad for BWW # 36

Disney Milk Chocolates in form of coins were not only tasty but good subject for the pics. Disney characters can always bring a smile to your face - God bless them and their creativity. Over the years, almost every person has fond memories of these characters. I did not have the theme parks experience or endless hours of CDs\DVDs\etc - but every Sunday morning 9AM we had their show for one hour on India's National television "Doordarshan" and that would be one helluva fun hour!!!

Few years back, me and my mom made one "girls" trip to Orlando, Florida and of course, we did visit the Disney World - those were a few memorable Summer days for sure! Enjoy the Chocs...

We went bowling yesterday and loved the place. And from all the random clicks, found this one which got me thinking of food ads and their impact on our hunger, the next meal and the next grocery shopping list. Just looking at a well-shot food pic can make you hungry even if you did not feel the same a few seconds back! I had to share it as part of this event..

This post is for "Black and White Wednesday Week # 36" being hosted by Cindy of Cindystar. The event annoucement page is here. This event was started by Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook and the weekly host lineup page is available here.

Enjoy your Sunday! :)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Award time - thank you!!!

Thank you to the following blogger friends for passing on these awards to me:

Preethi from Follow Foodie passed me on this sweet award as I was just getting back to blogging after my long hiatus. Thank you so very much for the encouragement and appreciation. :)

There are a few rules and criteria to be followed for this award:
  1. Create a post with the following details
  2. Thank the person who nominated you for this Sunshine Award and link them back
  3. Then tell something about you
  4. Spread the joy by nominationg you fellow bloggers and friends, it is a way of appreciation
  5. Finally convey the bloggers about the nomination

Dear Reshmi from Noel Collections also kindly sent me the following awards. Thank you, dear - appreciate it! I am so humbled by this gesture.

The rules of this is:
  1. Please accept the award and post it in your blog with the name of the person who has given you the award with his or her blog link.
  2. Share 7 completely random pieces of information about you.
  3. Include these set of rules.
  4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award and let them know about the award by leaving a comment in their blog.
I will take the liberty to combine the two into one post. Pardon my laziness but I will do the max number required of both the awards.:)

Some things about me:
  1. I love sewing and knitting.
  2. I love making day trips to DC which baffles most of my friends including hubby dear.
  3. Birthday cards make me weak in the knee! :)
  4. In High School English classes, loved composing essays - most were better than I have up here!
  5. Inspite of being a blogger, writing these seven things seemed the longest ever for me!
  6. Love organizing events - get a kick out of the TBD lists!
  7. Every weekend, have to accomplish something new - a new book, a new craft, a new place...
Now passing these awards to my following dear blogger friends - you guys deserve it, please accept this as a small token of appreciation from your blogosphere friend! :) I love your style of writing, the humane and interesting topics you cover and the way you manage to engross me. Thank you for sharing a part of your life and thinking - blogging is not easy but you make it appear so. Look forward to many more posts from your space...
There are so many more blogs that are inspiring in nature and are "one of their kind". The above list could just go on but for brevity, will refrain from adding more names in there. If you hear from me every now and then, you have touched me and helped me grow - thank you for the camaraderie, even though it is virtual in nature so far! Have a great day!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Kheeri aka Rice Pudding - Phew, Salvaged the post in time!

This is Maa's version of easy-peasy Kheeri aka Rice Pudding. Enjoy it with a piping-hot Rasagulla - just like the way they used to serve in Odiya weddings\picnic feasts, etc. Till Maa actually showed me how to make it, I did not believe that it would be this easy to make. Have a sweet and delicious time! :)

This simple post got into a bit of drama! :) I deleted it by mistake and learnt from frantic Google searches that Google does not help retrieving deleted posts! :( Come on! Then stumbled across this link and used Method 2 to using the Back button if you have the tab where you were editing still open! Good luck - I did still have that tab open! La Voila - found it and saved myself some trouble of having to re-write! Gosh - those were a frantic few minutes! Now, you can enjoy the dessert - so can I! ;)

Makes about 8-12 servings :)

Kheeri Rice - 1 cup
Milk - 8 cups
Water - 1 cup
Dry Bay Leaves - 2-3

Cinnamon stick - 2
Cardamom Powder - 1 tbsp

Jaggery - 2 small cubes (optional, gives a nice golden color and a different flavor)
White Sugar - 6 tbsp (reduce or increase as per required sweetness)

Cashews and Raisins - 1/2 cup, roasted with Ghee or Butter (optional)

Condensed Milk - 1 can (optional, this provides richness by making it creamier)


Use a  heavy-bottomed utensil and heat water.
Wash the rice and add to the warm water.
Add milk.
As the mixture is warm and the Rice is half-cooked, add the dry Bay leaves, Cinnamon stick and Cardamom powder.

I usually microwave the Jaggery for 30 seconds so it is soft and easily mixes with the warm rice mixture.
Once the Jaggery is well-mixed, add the White Sugar. Add it slowly making sure to check the sweetness. Remember to adjust it, particularly if you are adding Condensed Milk later on.

In the meanwhile, roast the Cashews and Raisins in Ghee (Clarified Butter) or Butter. Keep it aside.

When the rice is fully cooked and soft to touch (takes about 20 mins), add the roasted Cashew and Raisins as well as the Condensed Milk.

If you don't have Kheeri Rice, pressure cook Rice with Water, Milk, Dry Bay Leaves, Cinnamon stick and Sugar. Wait for one whistle and let it stand in Medium heat for 5 mins. Wait for the pressure to release (don't force it open by putting it under running water, etc.). Add the rest of the ingredients and mix it well in Medium heat for a few mins.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Baigana Bhaja

Baigana Bhaja as per the Odiyas or Begun bhoja as per the Bengalis - no matter how you call it, it is warm and soothing like the pic below. Hats off to Instagram app for letting me click the spirit of this food.

My paternal family is from Mayurbhanj, Odisha. So we are commonly referred to as Baripadia (Baripada is a big town of Mayurbhanj, my dad and all his siblings went to school and college here) or Mayurbhanjia. And the Mayurbhanjias are known for their love for "Mudi" aka puffed rice\Murmura\Bhel. Breakfast in our village would include Mudi with fresh yogurt and cream and a hot and fresh "Bhaja" aka shallow-fried food item. The Bhaja can be Fish, Potatoes or Eggplants (and a few other veggies). Here is a simple Eggplant shallow-fry for you to try when you are really short on time and need to make something quick.


Eggplant (Odiya word Baigana) - 1 large, chopped into thin slices as shown below.
Rice flour - 1/2 cup
Turmeric Powder - 1 tsp
Salt - as per taste (1/2 tsp in my case)
Chat Masala - 1/4 tsp
Chilli Powder - as per taste (1/4 tsp in my case)

Canola oil for shallow frying
Mustard oil - 1 tsp (optional)


Chop the Eggplants as shown in the pic.
Mix with the rest of the ingredients except Canola oil. 

Heat the Canola oil in Medium heat .
As it warms up, lay out the Eggplant slices as shown in the pic.

Add a dash of Mustard oil sometime in between the cooking process.
Cook one side properly before turning to cook the other side in Medium heat. Takes about 3-4 mins per side.

The rice flour adds the desired crunchiness. I usually enjoy this with Rice and Lentils with some hot Raita as a side.

Another Eggplant dish that is one of my favorite and is one of the indigenous Odiya recipe is the Roasted Eggplant aka Baigana Poda. Follow on here for the recipe. The one in the pic below is the same dish with the slight variation of adding a few sprigs of fresh Coriander leaves.