January 27, 2012

Alepak Poha - Ginger flavored Beaten Rice Snack

After you get married there is a lot of change in the food that is being made in the in-laws family. In fact you get surprised to see some of the food items which you used to have for breakfasts are eaten as main courses and some of the main courses are cooked for breakfasts. That's really funny :) and  it takes time to get used to it. I am sure the girls who are married must have come across some food items which you do not like at all but still you had to prepare those. There are definitely some on my list and Alepak Poha ( Ginger flavored beaten rice ) is one from that list. It is because I am huge fan of the regular "kanda poha"  and this version will never ever beat it.
But again your taste buds get used to such dishes and after a while you start liking them...Isn't it?
Yes even I started liking this version of Poha and its not that bad. It has lots of ginger in it which makes it good for digestion.

Ginger is known to be taken when there are problems related to the digestive system such as indigestion, gas pains, diarrhea and stomach cramping. People in US also drink Gingerale when there is similar problem.


Serves 2-3

Beaten Rice - 3 Cups
Grated Ginger - 3 tbsp
Jaggery (gud) - 2 tbsp, grated
Grated fresh coconut - 2 tbsp
Crushed Roasted Peanuts - 2 tbsp
Green Chili paste - 2 tsp
Fresh lime juice - per taste
Curry Leaves - few
Mustard seeds, Cumin seeds and oil for seasoning
Hing or Asafoetida - pinch
Salt - per taste


1. Wash poha / beaten rice in drainer/siever, drain the excess water c completely, leave it for 10 minutes. Use minimal water as possible.

2. Heat oil in a pan, add Mustard seeds, hing, curry leaves, green chili paste and grated ginger. Mix well for 30 seconds.

3.Add poha and mix well. Now add Jaggery and mix again. Cover for 2-3 minutes.

4. Add salt, peanuts crush, coconut and lime juice. Mix everything. Cover again for 4-5 minutes.

5. Adjust the jaggery, salt.

6. Serve.

January 25, 2012

Masala Bhindi (Okra / lady finger)

I just love bhindi in any form. 'Regular, Bharva, Masala, Tava, Dahi, fried'. This is the first bhindi recipe on my blog. I will eventually add all other recipes. This recipe is one of the favorites at home. The best thing about bhindi is it gets cooked in microwave within minutes. We also get rid of that stickiness if we cook it in microwave.


Serves 3-4

Bhindi/Okra - 250-300 gms
Onion - 1/2 Cup , cut into slits
Punjabi Garam Masala / Kitchen King Masala or regular Garam Masala : 2-3 tsp
Cumin Coriander Powder : 1-2 tsp
Salt and Red Chili powder to taste
Pinch of sugar
Mustard Seeds, Cumin seeds for seasoning

For Puree:
Tomato - 1 Medium size
Ginger - 1/2" piece
Cloves - 2-3 Garlic
Onion - 1/4 cup


1. Wash and dry the bhindis and take off the head of all bhindis. Also cut the bhindi into 1" pieces. Place it in a bowl and put about 3 tsp oil on them. Make sure oil spreads all over the bhindi. Now microwave it for about 6-8 minutes or till it gets cooked.

2. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds. When they sizzle add slitted onion. Saute onion till it gets transparent.

3. Meanwhile grind all the ingredients listed under puree and make a paste. Add as little water as possible.

4. Now add this puree, all the masala powders, salt and mix well. Let the puree cook for 4-5 minutes.

5. Now check if the bhindi is cooked and if done add this to the puree. Mix well, cover and let this cook for another 10 minutes.


Try this out with Punjabi Garam Masala or Kitchen King. These masalas are ready made masalas and you can find them in any Indian Store.

January 24, 2012

Sabudana Vada (Tapioca pearls fried tikkis)

This year we, I mean the Seattle, had a record snow. Schools were closed, roads were slippery, going anywhere was just risky. But snow in Seattle is like a rainbow in a rain. It lasts only for a while but makes the green world look entirely different and beautiful.

The point is there was no chance we can go for grocery and the question was what to do. No green veggies at home and got bored potatoes. Daals and pulses do not appeal the taste buds in cold winters.
When I ran out of all the options, there was this Sabudana Vada which I know how to make and does not need any special ingredient.


Serves 2 or makes 12 - 15 Vadas

Tapioca pearls (Sabudana) - 1 Cup
Peanuts - roasted and crushed - Handful
Green Chili paste - per taste
Potato - 1 Small, Boiled and Smashed - (optional)
Lime juice - per taste
Salt - per taste
Sugar - per taste
Coriander - 2 tbsp, chopped
Cumin seeds - 2 tsp
Oil - for frying
Milk - 1-2 tbsp
Coriander + Cumin seeds powder - 2 - 3 tsp


1. Soak sabudana  in only enough water for 3-4 hours. There should not be any excess amount of water.

2. Now add crushed peanuts, salt, sugar, coriander + cumin seeds powder to the sabudana and mix.

3. Heat 3 tbsp oil in a large shallow skillet and then add cumin seeds to it. Once they sizzle add green chili paste and mix immediately.

4. Quickly add the sabudana mixture to this and mix for 2-3 minutes. Add 1 tbsp of milk, lime juice as per taste and mix again. Lid it and let it cook for 5-6 minutes on lower to medium flame.

5. Open the lid and mix the sabudana again. Adjust salt, sugar, and lime juice. Its hard to adjust the green chili now and hence you should be careful when you add it in the first place.

6. Add coriander and this makes the Sabudana Khichdi.

7. To make sabudana vadas we will add the boiled and smashed potatoes to this mixture. This will keep the vadas intact and help in binding.

8. Take a little mixture in hand and make tikkis of it.

9. Heat oil in a pan and then fry the tikkis. Serve with tomato ketchup, or a simple dahi (yogurt) raita.

10. To make this raita, add generous amount of sugar and little salt to plain yogurt. Mix it well to get dropping consistency. Add a seasoning of oil , mustard seeds and cumin seeds to it. Mix and serve with sabudana vadas.


Another simple way to make vadas is to skip the khichdi step. Add green chili paste and lime

This year's Snowman :) :)

January 20, 2012

Vegetable Hakka Noodles (Sauted Spaghetti) with Schezwan Sauce

This Christmas we had  a potluck at our home. The special thing for this potluck was the Chinese theme :). Everyone made some kind of Chinese noodle, rice or Manchurian. The Hakka Noodles made by one of our friend was really amazing. Here is the same version oh Hakka Noodles made using not the Chinese noodles but the Spaghetti which is a Italian pasta variety. You can buy this in any American grocery store. This is a really quick snack or even a full meal.


Serves 4-5

Spaghetti Pasta  - 1 pack or 16 oz
Carrots - 1 Cup, Julienned
Capsicum - 1 Cup, Julienned
Cabbage - 1 Cup, Julienned
Spring Onion - 1 Bunch
Soya Sauce - 1 tbsp
Schezwan Sauce - 1 tbsp (optional)
Red Chili Sauce - per taste
Vinegar - 4 tsp
Salt - per taste
Oil - 4-5 tbsp


1. Bring 4-6 quarts of water to a boil. Add salt to taste, if desired.

2. Add the spaghetti to the boiling water. Cook for about 6 minutes of till the noodles cook.

3. Once the spaghetti  cooks, drain out the excess water and rinse it again with the cold water. This prevents sticking of the noodles to each other.

4. Heat oil in a wok or in a shallow pan. Saute carrots, capsicums and cabbage in order. Keep them a little crunchy and do not overcook.

5. Add soya sauce, red chili sauce. Mix schezwan sauce with the vinegar and add this to the veggies. Add salt. Mix well.

6. Now add the noodles and quickly mix everything.

7. Adjust the sauces and salt and sprinkle the chopped green onion . Use 2 forks if you don't have proper tools. Mix and serve.


  • Schezwan sauce is optional. It is not present in authentic Hakka Noodles.
  • Use any other noodles instead  of Spaghetti.

January 19, 2012

My First Homemade Pizza

Making pizza at home is a fun process. Though a little lengthy than what we are used to (order it online ;) ) its totally worth it. All the extra cheese, extra toppings and sauce are free of cost. !!! :)

Well I referred the VahReVah chefs recipe for the pizza base. This one is enough and works out well.
Pizzas made in pizza shops are prepared in very high heat and using pizza stone. Well we can heat up the home oven to its max but 350 - 400 worked for me. And that said you can always buy pizza stone if you are going to prepare it frequently. Otherwise a round large round baking sheet is good. 


Serves 4-6

For Pizza base:

All Purpose Flour - 7 Cup
Active Yeast - 7 gms (Small packet, you can get this in any retail grocery store)
Salt as per taste
Water - 250 ml
Olive oil - 5 tsp
Sugar - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp

For Tomato Sauce:

Tomato - 3 Cups, Puree
Onion - 1/2 Cup, Very finely Chopped
Tomato Ketchup - 1/2 Cup
Garlic - 2 Cloves, Minced
Red Chili powder or chili flakes - per taste
Oregano Italian Spice - per taste
Dry Italian Parsley - per taste
Salt - per taste
2 tbsp Oil

For Toppings:

I am strictly vegetarian and hence I have not listed any non-vegetarian toppings which are limitless.

Capsicum slits
Onion Slits
Sliced Tomatoes
Mozzarella Cheese - Grated
Salt as per taste
(can add other toppings like canned jalapeno and olives)


For Pizza Dough :

1. Take warm water. Sprinkle in yeast, sugar,salt. Cover it and let it stand for 10 minutes. This process actually activates yeast. make sure water is not hot otherwise yeast may die.
2. Mix in yeast mixture into remaining flour, add Olive oil and knead it for 3-4 minutes till soft dough.

3. Place the dough in the shallow vessel and cover it with a thin wet cloth. Let it rest for 1-2 hours.

4. If you check it now you can see the dough has risen and its time to knead it again. Make it rest for another 1 or 2 hours.

For Pizza Sauce:
Heat oil in a skillet add minced garlic to it. When the garlic turns a little brown, add finely chopper onions to it. Saute for 3 minutes. Now add tomato puree and let it cook another for 2 minutes. Add tomato ketchup, red chili powder (or chili flakes), oregano, parsley, salt and little sugar to it.

(Onion and tomato ketchup give a thicker consistency to the sauce. Make sure the sauce is thick so that when you spread it over the base it wont make it soggy).

For Toppings:
When using onion and capsicum I prefer to cut them in long slits and saute then in oil a little before using them. If you decide do saute onions and capsicum, make sure to remove excess water from the sauteed veggies before using them. We can use raw veggies as well.

Other toppings are tomatoes, jalapeno, olives and many more which you know :) .

For Pizza:
  1. I usually make two pizzas of large size from this amount of dough. Knead the risen dough again and take half the dough on a flour greased surface (or kitchen top). Roll it a little and then with hands spread it into a large size pizza base. Make use of the flour if your hands stick to the dough in this process.
  2. Make some tiny holes all over the base with the help of fork. Add pizza sauce evenly over the base or as required, add the toppings, and generously add the grated cheese. Sprinkle fresh or dried parsley and oregano as per taste.
  3. Bake in a hot (350C) oven. Check in between . The pizza base rises while baking. The pizza is ready when the cheese has melted and it turns brown. remove the pizza from the oven and with the help of pizza cutter, cut the pizza into desired number of pieces.
  • In my first attempt I got a lot of ideas about how the pizza preparation process should go. So do not worry if the pizza does not come out as expected. It takes one or two tries and you will get to it. :).
  • The borders of the base taste very plain. To add some taste to it apply the garlic paste. (Garlic + Butter + little salt)
  • Have you tried the artisan pizza from Dominoes which is made of Spinach and feta cheese. I love this pizza and this combination is due in my to do list.
  • The pizza base dough can remain in t refrigerators for few days.

January 18, 2012

Hawaii !!! - Truly a Heaven on Earth

Maui (Hawaii) what a place to be :)............ Pacific is at its best here...Beautiful beaches, fresh air, lush green trees, and those giant humpback whales :) ....Memorable !!!

My blogger Friends, recently I had been to Maui island in Hawaii and it was one of the most amazing trips of mine. I needed to relax after completion of my Master (which is really very hectic :)) and me and my hubby always wanted to visit Hawaii. This was the perfect time.

Maui is one of the 8 islands of Hawaii. People who want to relax in peace and want to play in grounds of Nature, this is the perfect island.

Things which are must dos in Maui are:

1. Snorkeling (at Molokini Crater) - Snorkeling was really amazing experience.Initially I was a little afraid as I am not a good swimmer.But with all the gears it becomes a lot easier What a world it is down there, once you insert your face inside you get disconnected with the outside world.... :) . Corals and fishes which I always watched in television , I was experiencing them !!!!!

2. Sunrise from Halaekela - You drive to the top of Halaekela mountain (10000 ft). Clouds are under you feet and you see the Sun rising above the clouds. :) Color formations are simply magical. The color changes on the surface of the Halaekela mountain are incredible. Be prepared for the cold here as we were not :(.

3. Road to Hana - I enjoy rainforests and wild trees. Road to Hana is around 35 miles long and has got some 600 curves (It is not straight at all). Hats off to US government for constructing such roads. On this road you will come across different villages, view of pacific ocean, water falls, locally made banana bread and coconut icecream stalls. You are covered with greenery all over.

4. Golf Courses -  I don't know anything about Golf but I always love to watch the golf courses. Hawaii is world renowned for its golf courses. We got an opportunity to view some of the luxurious once. Kapalua is one of them. Imagine the view of ocean n one side, and the lush green mountains on the other. Its party for players while they are playing :)

5. Beaches, beaches, beaches-  Plenty of beaches. You can just park anywhere in West Maui. The entire road is along the coastline. There are some beautiful beaches in South Maui as well like Big beach and Wailea. There are some black sand beaches. It was fun everywhere. :)

Here are  some of the beautiful sights of Maui.
Sunrise At Halaekela

All Types of Tides and Waves

Breathtaking Views

The curviest and scenic Road To Hana

One of the beaches I loved - This one is called as Big Beach

Looks beautiful , right?

This one is the Kapalua Golf course. There are plenty of others.

 Cheers !!!!

January 17, 2012

Back with loooottttts of excitement and Magic Squares :)

Hellooooooooooooooooo Everyone... How are you all doing ? Its been a long long time for me since my last post. I was busy with my Masters and a good news is that I have finished everything and I am a graduate now :B. Another great achievement is I got a job in one of the biggest software companies and I am extremely happy to share this with you all.... :)

Well I am sure you all had a great 2011 year and I wish all of you a fantastic year ahead.
May the year of 2012 bring variety of food to you life, spice up your days and sweeten your moments.

Since this is my first post after the long gap I though I should start it with some sweet.
While I was at Kansas State University for one of my semester I got to know new people and yes new recipes. One of my friends their shared me the recipe of Magic Squares which truly are magical :). I tried these couple of days back and guess what everyone liked it a lot. I enjoy making such sweets which take little time and are different than the traditional once.


1 1/2 cup melted Butter
2 Cup graham crackers crumps
14 oz Sweet Condensed Milk
Semisweet mini chocolate chips as per requirement
Butterscotch chips as per requirement
Shredded dry coconut as per requirement
Coarsely crushed Nuts (I used almonds) as per requirement


1) Preheat oven to 350°F.

2) Make crumps of graham crackers and melt the butter in microwave.

3) In a rectangular baking pan, mix graham wafer crumbs and melted butter. Press evenly and firmly over the bottom.

4) Pour some part of condensed milk evenly over the base.

5) Sprinkle the chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, coconut, and almonds evenly in layers on top of the base layer. Pour the remaining condensed milk on evenly on top.

6) Bake for about 15-20 minutes but keep an eye.

7) When the coconut turns brown take the pan out. Make the cuts with a knife but do not take out the pieces of it.

8) Cover it with a cloth or paper and let it cool entirely. Then cut into squares and store them in a container or you can even refrigerate.


  • You can press the foil paper on the baking pan and then put the base layer so that the magic squares do not stick to the pan.
This recipe enters the
 Choclate Mela event
Kid’s Delights : for this month’s theme ‘Something Sweet’

Semi-dry version of Methi Mutter Malai

This is a different version of methi mutter malai which does not have gravy and is semi-dry. I learnt it from showmethecurry site. The peculiar thing about this version is the use of red dry chillies. The taste definitely differs than the traditional sweet methi mutter malai.


Serves 4

2 Cups Frozen Sweet Peas
1 bunch fresh Fenugreek Leaves (or Dried Leaves aka Kasuri Methi)
Cream or Milk as per taste or enough to reach the consistency
1 tbsp Oil
1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
2-3 Whole Dry Red Chilies
1 tbsp minced Ginger
1/3 Cup chopped Onion
1/2 Cup chopped Tomato
1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tsp Coriander Powder
1 tsp Garam Masala
Red Chili Powder as per taste
Salt as per taste


1. Wash Fenugreek Leaves well, chop finely and boil it for a while. Add 1 tsp salt to it while boiling.
Boil it for 5 minutes. This helps in removing the bitter smell from the leaves.

2. Heat oil in a medium skillet.

3. Add cumin seeds and allow them to sizzle. Immediately add dry red chillies and turmeric powder.

4. Stir and add copped onion to it. Saute till the onion turn transparent. Add ginger and mix.
While the onions are cooking microwave the frozen peas for 5 minutes.

5. Add chopped tomatoes, mix and cook for 5 minutes.

6. Now add green peas, coriander powder, garam masala, red chili powder and salt. Mix well, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in between.

7. Drain the Fenugreek Leaves and add it to the peas.

8. Cover and cook until peas and Fenugreek Leaves are cooked (3-6 minutes). Adjust masalas and salt.

9. Add in cream or milk, mix well and bring to a boil. Cook until the milk is evaporated.


If you are using kasuri methi, make sure to break it down by rubbing in between hands and then keeping it to boil.

January 16, 2012

Til Vadi - Sesame Seeds Squares

Makar Sankranti is a festival which is celebrated in many different ways in all parts of India. In Maharashtra (the state from where I come) it is celebrated by exchanging the sweets made out of Sesame seeds. "Take sweet, be sweet and talk sweet" is what people greet each other while exchanging these sweets. In Marathi it is called as "Tilgul ghya god bola".

At my home we make a "Tilvadi"  which is made out of Sesame seeds and Jaggery. This year I tried my hands on this vadi which is really easy to make. The vadis can come out perfect given that you follow all the steps correctly.

Happy Makar Sankranti to all and enjoy this recipe.


2 Cup Sesame Seeds (Til)
1/4  Cup coarsely crushed roasted Peanuts
1 1/2 Cup of Jaggery (Gud)
2 tbsp Clarified Butter (Ghee)
Grated Dry Unsweetened Coconut as per requirement


1. Heat a skillet and roast the Sesame seeds till they turn crisp, little brown and you get a nice aroma. Let them cool and then grind them coarsely (do not make it fine). Meanwhile prepare a shallow plate (thali) or a kitchen top surface by greasing it with some clarified butter. We will use this to spread the vadi mixture.

2. Heat the same skillet again, add the clarified butter (ghee). Once the butter melts add the jaggery (Gud)  to it. When Jaggery melts and when the bubbles start to pop up, remove the skillet from above the burner and add the sesame seeds and crushed peanuts to the jaggery syrup.

3. Mix everything fast.

4. Spread the mixture evenly onto the plate and garnish it by sprinkling the  dry shredded coconut. To spread everything evenly use your hands or a bowl with flat surface to apply pressure on the hot mixture.

5. Now make the vadis by cutting the mixture into diamond shapes. Let it cool before you take out the vadis.

  • The color of the vadi depends on the Jaggery used. Prefer the darker jaggery. Also the Jaggery should be not too sticky and not dry at all.
  • Make sure the Jaggery syrup is not too liquidish before you add mixture. It should be thick enough to glue up everything in one whole piece.
  • Jaggery and Clarified butter, both can be found in any indian store.