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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Paneer soda? It can be new to so many of you! I knew there is one such drink even when I was a kid, through my mom, drooling when she says paneer soda. Its not the paneer – Indian cottage cheese, but this is rose water – Panneer! It is used in Indian weddings by sprinkling over people to welcome guests. Also for mixing sandalwood powder and for puja purposes too. I so so love the fragrance of panneer. Be it in the rose ice (the triangle popsicles we get those days during summer) or any other sweets like jangri, I just go crazy about eating it. And this panneer soda is also not an exception! I had a chance to drink it only 2 years back near a temple (Ettukudi) and loved it a lot. So only once that time, after that I had no luck drinking panneer soda.
         Meanwhile here in SG, in pasta mania we get Italian lychee soda (litchi as we say), which will be more like panneer soda only that, this will be more sweet. So I thought of trying my own panneer soda at home. And thought it would be helpful for all panneer soda lovers to try on their own. Its so simple and easy just 4 ingredients, you have delicious thirst quencher for this summer!

Homemade paneer soda recipe

Recipe Cuisine: Indian  |  Recipe Category: Drink
Prep Time: 5 mins    |  Cook time: 15 mins    Serves: 4


Sugar  1/2 cup 
Water  3/4  cup 
Rose essence  3 drops 
Plain soda  As needed for serving 


  1. Bring water and sugar to boil, continue boiling in medium flame for 3 minutes. Cool down. Add rose essence and stir well. 1-paneer
  2. Once cooled down, you can store it in airtight bottles and refrigerate it.2-panneer
  3. When ever needed, at the time of serving, add 3 tblsp or 4 tblsp over few ice cubes placed in a glass as per your sweet preference and add chilled plain soda over it and mix well.3-panner
    • You can replace rose essence with rose water we get in stores. In that case, use 2-3 tblsp in place of 3 drops of essence, as rose water is slightly diluted.
    • Another way for enjoying this drink – if you have rose syrup at home, you can use that as well along with soda.
    • Use always good quality essence.

Consume as soon as you add the soda to enjoy the great taste. Always serve chilled.



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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I have tasted bruschetta only once, that was more like bread toasted with tomato salsa. But never thought of trying at home, but when I got cute little cherry tomatoes, I wanted to try something out of it, I saw this recipe with garlic in foodnetwork, so I slightly adapted the recipe and came up with this recipe. It was really tasting great, my whole family enjoyed this. It smelt and tasted great. This will make an amazing starter also, can be made in a jiffy and can give you a lot of volume to serve a big crowd! There are many versions and variations of bruschetta recipe, this particular recipe is without cheese.


Bruschetta recipe

Recipe Cuisine: Italian  |  Recipe Category: Starter
Prep Time: 12 mins    |  Cook time: 8 mins    Serves: 3


Baguette bread / french loaf 1
Cherry tomatoes 30
Onion 1
Garlic, chopped finely 1tblsp
Chopped fresh coriander leaves 2 tblsp
Dried oregano 1 tsp
Salt As needed
Olive oil (extra virgin) As needed
Black pepper powder 1 tsp



  1. Pre heat oven to 180 deg. C. Halve the cherry tomatoes lengthwise, finely chop onion, coriander leaves and very finely the garlic. Mix all the ingredients chopped with pepper, oregano and1 & 1/2 tblsp of olive oil and mix well.1-bruschetta
  2. With a sharp knife/ bread knife, slice the baguette  bread as shown in the picture. It should be thick (1/2 inch) and you can either cut it to simple circles or fancy ovals by cutting bit diagonally. arrange the cut slices in a greased baking tray and spoon the tomato mix over like around 3 tblsp over each.2-bruschetta
  3. Again drizzle generously over each with olive oil and bake for upto 5 – 8 minutes, or until the tomatoes shrink and nice aroma wafts. 3-bruschetta


    • You can use ordinary tomatoes in place of cherry tomatoes. You can use 2 small in that case.
    • You can sprinkle some grated cheese over this before baking, use mozzarella cheese for better results.
    • Instead of black pepper powder, try using chilli flakes.
                    Serve hot and it makes a great party snack/ starter/ appetizer, without any sweat!



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Saturday, May 25, 2013

        Since I am a south Indian, I am always fascinated towards north Indian cuisine. I love each and everything, right from basmati rice, dal. Dal and basmati rice is my most favourite. And so as Aj. He too loves dal and rice Cool. Not that I dont like our south Indian meals. I do, but only if somebody else cooks for me and gives me a spread in my handsWinking. That’s coz, me bored of my own cooking. SighDoh!. Now this North Indian lunch menu was suggested to me by my friend Sangeeta. So I thought this weekend, I would post this one.  So from this post onwards all my posts will be scheduled posts as I am flying to Chennai coming week. Will be busy busy shopping and packing, so I have scheduled all the posts for next few weeks. I may not reply your queries immediately, but sure will do when ever I find time! And now to the North Indian Thali.

This particular plate has the following :
  1. Phulkas : Here is the link for the post for how to puff up a roti in direct flame with video.
  2. Cauliflower Sabzi
  3. Baby corn masala
  4. Dal fry( seen in the picture) , Here is another dal fry recipe
And Steamed rice, papad, Sliced onion cucumber tomato and pickle. I also had rose milk as a drink Happy.
I have few other simple north Indian menu ideas, will sure come up with interesting ones in recent future. Have a great weekend!


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Thursday, May 23, 2013

carrot beans poriyal recipe
One of the simplest poriyal / stir fry, carrot beans poriyal. I have been thinking of posting this for long time, then thought its too simple to post, but now thought it can help beginners or bachelors. And I wanted to click this beautiful colourful poriyal very much, so at last, here it is! I love it a lot as side dish for rice or even to mix it with rice + ghee or sesame oil, just the way we used to eat when we were kids. Yes those days we never eat our serving of vegetale, we ignore the side dish, so my mom used to mix it with rice and ghee before we eat sambar / kuzhambu.


Carrot beans poriyal recipe

Indian Lunch
Prep Time: 10 mins    |  Cook time: 10 mins    Serves: 2


Carrot 2
Beans 20
Onion 1
Sambar powder 1tsp
Turmeric 1/8 tsp
Grated coconut 1/4 cup
Salt As needed

To temper

Oil 2 tsp
Mustard 3/4 tsp
Urad dal 1 tsp
Curry leaves 1 sprig


  1. Peel of the carrot skin and wash both carrot and beans. Chop them into small pieces as per your preference. Heat a kadai and temper with the items given under ‘To temper’ table. Add finely chopped onion and fry for a minute or until transparent. Add the chopped vegetables, 2 for a minutes in medium flame, add sambar powder,turmeric and salt.1-carrot-beans 
  2. Sprinkle 3-4 tblsp water and cook covered for 4-5 minutes.2-carrot-beans 
  3. Lastly add the grated coconut and stir once, remove from fire.3-carrot-beans 


  • If you are making this for lunch box, after adding coconut, keep frying for 2 minutes in low flame. If you are consuming immediately, no need to cook after adding coconut.
  • Adding a pinch of sugar after adding vegetables helps the veggies retain their colour and crunch.
  • Do not over cook, let the veggies retain the crunchiness (but perfectly cooked, not uncooked).

Serve as accompaniment for rice with sambar or kuzhambu.



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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Aloo gobi matar recipe      
          Aloo Gobi mutter is an awesome combination as subji for both roti and rice. My family loves potato, cauliflower and peas. So this is a winning combo. I make aloo gobi simply with onion and tomato, but this one is a spicy version with ginger garlic and other spices. This was quite a welcome change for me and Aj as usual loved it as it had a great flavour. I made it to pair it with Masala kuzhambu and this was a perfect match for it.

Aloo Gobi Mutter recipe

Recipe Cuisine: Indian  |  Recipe Category: Lunch side dish
Prep Time: 15 mins    |  Cook time: 15 mins    Serves: 3


Potato, small 2
Cauliflower, cut into small florets 1 cup
Peas 1/2 cup
Onion 2
Sambar powder/ Red chilli powder 1 tsp
Oil 1 tsp
Turmeric 1/4 tsp
Coriander leaves 2 tblsp
Salt As needed

To Grind

Garlic 4 flakes
Ginger A small piece equivalent to 2 garlic size.
Coriander seeds 2 tsp
Fennel / soambu 1 tsp

To Temper

Oil 1 tblsp
Cinnamon 1 small piece


  1. Slice onion lengthwise, Peel the potato and chop into small cubes set aside. Grind the ingredients under ‘To grind’ table with little water.1-aloo-gobi-mutter 
  2. Heat a kadai with oil and temper with cinnamon and add onion, fry till transparent. Add the ground paste and fry in low flame for 2 minutes or until the raw smell goes away. 2-aloo-gobi-mutter 
  3. Add the vegetables, salt and give a fry for 2 minutes in medium flame. Add turmeric, sambar powder  and sprinkle 2 tblsp water.3-aloo-gobi-mutter 
  4. Mix well and cook covered in low flame for 5 minutes.4-aloo-gobi-mutte 
  5. Once done, add oil towards the end and fry for 3-4 minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves, chopped finely.5-aloo-gobi-mutter  


  • When you fry the veggies in the beginning, it helps the veggies to get cooked quickly. 
  • You can replace green peas with beans as well and make it same way, but make sure you use baby beans or young beans.
  • If you want you can add amchoor powder 1 tsp in this recipe, for tanginess. Tomato can also be added, use 2. Or lemon can be squeezed at the end.
                     Serve with your favourite , goes well with dal tadka / dal fry or with rice or roti.

potato-peas-cauliflower curry


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Saturday, May 18, 2013


     This weeks lunch is simply a gravy and a vegetable stir fry. I have not seen many people buying this vegetable - Ridge gourd. I have no idea why, but I buy often and make it as a gravy. This gravy is simple to make yet flavorful and unique too! There are few common recipes with ridge gourd like thogayal or kootu, but this gravy is a trademark recipe I learnt from my mom. And when I came here and made it for Vj he totally loved it. And last year when in laws came here and I made this, to my surprise FIL loved it too. He asked me what it is, as he liked it very much. If you have not tried it yet, I would highly recommend to try this for rice and give a break for the usual sambar/ kuzhambu.


So here is the link for Ridge gourd gravy (Peerkangai chutney as we call).

Other vegetables that can be made as gravy in this same way are :
1) Yellow pumpkin - Recipe here.

2) Potato - peel off the skin and follow the same method.

And I think this carrot beans stir fry (poriyal) is very simple to make, I have not posted the recipe, but will post it one day on next week.

Mean while, you can browse the Dry curry recipes if you are interested. But I promise I will post this carrot beans poriyal recipe soon :)


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Thursday, May 16, 2013

       This is a variety idiyappam recipe I learnt last year from MIL. Milagu idiyappam is very easy to make and very unique to me from the usual idiyappam with sugar and coconut or lemon/ puli idiyappam and the paruppu idiyappam we make usually. My mom usually gives pepper jeera rice to us in the dinner when we were kids, but never thought to try with idiyappam, MIL made it last time when we were there. So from that time, I started to make this one once in a while. Very easy and packed with flavors of fresh ground pepper.

Milagu Jeeraga Idiyappam recipe

Indian Breakfast
Prep Time: 15 mins    |  Cook time: 15 mins    Serves: 2


idiyappam flour or rice flour 3/4 cup
Water As needed
Salt As needed
oil Few drops Few drops
Pepper (black, powdered) 2 tblsp
Jeera 2 tsp
Coconut, grated 1/4 cup
Ghee 1 tblsp
Cashew nuts 5
Curry leaves A sprig



  1. Boil enough water until the bubbles starts from the bottom of the vessel(do not boil rolling as it will make idiyappam dough get cooked and makes pressing hard). Add salt and oil to water and make dough by pouring this hot water to the idiyappam flour.Refer this post for more details.
  2. After you finish making plain idiyappam, with the tips of your fingers, roughly separate the idiyappam . Roughly powder jeera and pepper in mixer or hand mortar and pestle. And then heat ghee in pan and fry broken cashews until golden in colour.1-milagujeeraga
  3. Add coarsely powdered pepper and jeera and curry leaves and give a quick stir and immediately switch off the flame. Add this to prepared idiyappam. You can powder pepper and jeera in mixer or in a hand mortar and pestle.2-milagujeeraga
  4. Mix well, check for salt and add if more is needed. Garnish/ mix grated coconut.3-milagujeeraga


  • Use broad vessel for mixing. Don’t try to separate the idiyappam when its hot. Just do it once its manageable for your hands. Once you add the pepper mixture, it will be easy for mixing. So dont worry if idiyappam looks sticking together.
  • I used desiccated coconut as I dint had fresh that day.
  • Make sure to not burn the pepper powder or will taste bitter.
  • Coconut and ghee enhances the pepper flavor more.
             Make it along with any other breakfast, especially when you are making for guests, this is best to be the second variety of breakfast!


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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

    I make this sandwich very often for breakfast. Minus green chuteny and aloo(potato) . But wanted to try this North Indian style grilled sandwich with green chutney and aloo for long time. So tried and found it a lot tasty and quite a change for the regular sandwich. I wanted to post more sandwich recipes here in my blog, so I thought of trying and posting this grilled aloo sandwich. This is perfect for breakfast as it has cheese, potato and other vegetables and our Indian touch to it, the green chutney. This sandwich with a glass of milk/ coffee makes a wholesome breakfast that can keep you filled for long time. Try this for your kid’s lunch box too, they will sure love it with the cheese and potato in itGirlBoy


Grilled  Veg – aloo Sandwich recipe

Recipe Cuisine: Indian  |  Recipe Category: Breakfast
Prep Time: 5 mins    |  Cook time: 5 mins    Serves: 2


Bread slices
Onion 1
Tomato 1
Cucumber 1
Boiled potato 1
Green chutney 4 tsp
Black pepper powder 1/2 tsp
Cheese slices 2
Ghee 1 tsp


  1. Slice the veggies and gather all the other ingredients, in between the two slices, spread green chutney, place a slice of cheese and arrange the veggies and sprinkle pepper over it.1-veg-grilled-sandwich
  2. Lastly sliced potatoes and close the sandwich with other slice of bread and repeat the same for the next pair of slice. Place it in a greased sandwich maker and cook for 2 minutes or as per the sandwich maker’s instructions. 2-veg-grilled-sandwich
  • No specific recipe for this, you can skip any one or two, still tastes great!
  • I made it in my sandwich maker, dont worry if you dont have one, you can make it in tawa too. You can also use the griller plate if you have it.
Filling Indian style sandwich, perfect for your breakfast or snack is ready to enjoy!



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Saturday, May 11, 2013

       This week its going to be a Biryani meal, I make this every week as my kid is a Biryani lover and I think I have mentioned this in my previous posts too. He started eating biryani at the age of 2 and he never gets bored out of it. So from the day I started making Biryani, I have changed a lot of recipes, its like, when I get a good hold in a particular biryani recipe and my kid loves it, I will keep that fixed for few months until I learn another variation that satisfies my kid. He has some compulsory ingredients, if not, he wont like eating it. The main thing he want is mint leaves! And the main vegetable is Cauliflower. Other than these two, he will not touch the Biryani or not even call it as Biryani. So I make sure I only make when I have both in stock.

    Both my mom and MIL makes ‘vegetable rice’ kind of thing, without any much masalas. But mine will be loaded with masalas, fennel, Garlic, ginger and mint leaves. My dad and my MIL will ask ‘is that smell coming out of our cooking or from somewhere else?’ as they are not used to these masalas in their cooking and not comfortable too. So when I make biryani if they are around, I make sure I also cook a rasam and a vegetable side dish so that they can manage with those. But if its going to be for only 3 of us, I just make Biryani alone or may be with a curd rice for Vj.

         We make sure to do a ‘fried item’ like any varuvals or atleast vadam/ appalam to munch on along with raita.

So here are the Biryani recipes I have in my blog :
1. Spicy vegetable Biryani recipe( Which you find in the pictures)
2. Layered Biryani recipe
3. Vegetable biryani recipe with coconut milk

And here is the curd rice recipe.

If you want to pair up with any varuvals, I think Gobi 65 or crispy cauliflower fry will be best for this meal.

You can also see my recently made Maavadu pickle in the picture.


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