Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Princess Barbie Cake.

Made this cake a few weeks back for the sweetest little one (my SIL 's daughter) in our family.
Simply followed the instructions from Here.

I started out making the cake a day earlier. Used a 8 inch round tin and a 8 inch bowl for the cake as mentioned in the video, but just when assembling the cake I realized that the dolls legs were longer than I expected. With no time to bake another cake my sister-in-law and me decided to do some adjustment. We used a hollow round tiffin box, stuffed with cake scraps and made the barbie stand on that. Glad I was able to pull it through and was much delighted to see the surprise in the little ones eyes.

So if you plan to make a princess cake, measure the dolls size before baking the cake :)

Monday, June 03, 2013

Summer Colours from my Small Garden

Its too late to say spring colours but the rain showers this morning made me feel like spring after a super hot weekend.It was nice to see all the flowers and plants drenched in raindrops, definitely felt that they enjoyed the rain more than we did.
Here are few pictures from our small garden space in the front.

I was so excited to see the first rose flower of the season.
 " A Rose is a Rose"  - King of flowers :)

Do you know this flower. I 'm so fascinated by this beauty. It comes in various colors, white, pink, peach..I t was beautiful when it was fresh two weeks back.

These are tiny plants, that bring such beauty and color to the landscape.

Love those raindrops :)

Last but not the least, My Pea Plants started blooming too in my patio.
We tried this plant, just for fun as my son insisted that he wants to grow peas. Turns out that this is one of the easiest to grow. All my other ambitious seedlings are still struggling to grow in this great New England weather :)

Monday, April 15, 2013

Paruppu Poli / Puran Poli/ Obbattu

Wish everyone of you a very Happy Tamil New Year and Vishu.

I felt so happy that this new year came in during a weekend, had all the time to prepare an elaborate feast  just like back home with all the must do delicacies like vadai, payasam etc.,Amma always prepares sarkarai pongal, but I cut down on it as I made these delicious Poli's for breakfast.
 I happened to taste my first poli only when I was in college in coimbatore. The aunty who ran the mess for us over there made such awesome obattu's that I completely fell in love with them.
Amma never made this at home, but I have watched my MIL make this every year for bhogi pongal.
So here is the recipe from the beloved aunty combined with the few tricks from my MIL.


1 cup Maida
1/2 cup water
3 tblsp gingelly oil
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
Ghee as per taste

For Poornam
1 cup channa dhal
1/2 cup jaggery
1/2 tsp cardomom p[owder
3 tblsp shredded coconut

Mix the maida with water and knead well to make a smooth dough. Add the gingelly oil and knead again so that oil is well absorbed. Keep it covered in a container for a minimum of 2 hours. The longer the resting time, the softer the poli's will be. Resting the dough overnight also helps in making soft poli's.

For the poornam:
Soak the channa dhal for two hours. Cook in a pressure cooker for 3 - 4 whistles.
Filter the water in a strainer and mash it well to a smooth paste.
Take the jaggery  in a sauce pan, add about 1/4 cup water to it and allow to melt.
Once the jagggery is melted and filter to remove any impurities.
Add it again to the sauce pan and bring it to a boil. Add the cardamom powder and the mashed dhal.
Cook till it becomes  thick. Add the coconut at this stage and mix well.
Stir well in low heat for about 2 mins. Allow it to cool completely.

Method of making poli's:
Make equal sized balls of the dough. Make same size balls out of the poornam
Place the poornam in the middle of the flattenned dough, bring the edges of the dough together and seal the poornam completely.
Place the dough in between two plastic sheets smeared with oil and press the dough to form a thin circle. You can also use a roller and roll it gently to thin circles.
Gently remove the plastic sheet and place it on medium hot tawa/griddle.
Add little oil/ghee around the edges and cook by flipping the sides.
The Poli is done when brown spots appear on the top.
Apply little ghee on the top after taking out from the pan.

 Make sure the stove is on medium heat, else the poli will be over cooked and turn rubbery.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Black Bean and Avocado Tacos

Made this super simple tacos's for dinner yesterday. This is a great treat for those who love avocado and also to those who want to try and introduce avocado into their diet. Kids will go crazy over this dish,if you top it over with some extra shredded cheese,  mine just loved it without the cheese.

1 tin black beans
1 firm and ripe Avacado
1 medium onion
1 medium tomato
1 tsp cuminpowder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
2 tblsp chopped cilantro
1 tblsp lemon juice
10 taco shells
salt and pepper as required.

Open the black bean tin and filter the water through the strainer. Rinse the beans twice with water and drain completely.
Add 2 tsp of olive oil in a pan, and add half of the chopped onions, saute till translucent. 
To this add the blackbeans, chilli powder,cumin powder and salt.Mix thoroughly and cook for 5 mins in medium heat. Switch of the stove and allow to cool.

For the guacamole - cut the avocado into two, remove the seed and scoop out the pulp into a bowl.
To this add the rest of the chopped onion, tomato, cilantro salt, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
To Assemble - To each of the taco shell add about 2 tblsp of beans and 2 tblsp of the guacomole. Top it up with shreeded cheese if desired.

Soaked and cooked Rajma/Kidneybeans can also be used instead of store bought black beans tin
Shredded lettuce also adds another layer and crunch to the tacos.
The same mixture can also be rolled into a burrito using Tortilla's

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Vada Curry - Old Recipe With New Pictures

This is one of the initial recipes I posted as soon as started my blog. Though the pictures are not so good this remains the most popular recipe of this blog till date. So when I got a new SLR camera this weekend, I got all excited and planned to give the pictures for this recipe a makeover .

Click here to read my old post.

This is one my Mom's classic and she never fails to make this whenever I visit. This recipe is different from the hotel version calorie wise as the vada's are not deep fried instead made by crumbling thick Adai/Dosa, which gives a unique flavor to the dish. It doesnt take muchtime, if we plan a little ahead. My mom alwys soaks the dhal and makes the adai the previous day night, and then crumble them in the morning to make this delicious side dish. I am re-posting the recipe here.

1/2 cup channa dhal (soaked for two hours)
1/2 cup Thoor dhal
1tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp jeera

1 inch cinnamon strip
3 cloves
1 bay leaf
1 tsp fennel seeds
3 tblsp ginger garlic paste
 2 green chillies , slit
1 medium sized onion chopped finely
2 medium sized tomatoes chopped finely
1 cup chopped coriander leaves
1tsp chilli powder
2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp tumeric powder
salt as needed
For Vada/Adai:

 Soak the channa dhal for two hours and grind it coarsly along with fennel seeds(like we do for masal vadai).Heat a dosa pan and make thick adai's(about 2 inch thickness) by adding little oil on the sides.Keep the heat in medium and allow it to cook well, until browned on both sides(as shown in picture above).Cool it and scramble it into tiny pieces.You can do this the night before, store it in refrigerator and use it the next morning. 

For Curry:
Add 2 tsp of oil in a sauce pan.
Add cinnamon, cloves , fennel, and bay leaf to it.
When the cloves pop add the chopped onions and fry till translucent.
Add the ginger garlic paste.Fry well till the raw smell goes.
Add the chopped tomatoes to it and fry till mashed well and the oil leaves the surface.
Now add all the powders and stir well till the masala mixes well with the tomatoes.
Now add about 4 cups of water.It should be very watery at this stage.
Close with a lid and allow it to boil. After 10 mins, add the scrambled adai/vadai pieces to this liquid and mix well.
Simmer in very low flame for 10 mins.
The chana dhal mixture will soak up all the liquid. Add the chopped coriander leaves and stir well.

Enjoy with hot steaming idlies or spongy dosa's

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