Friday, July 25, 2008

Healthy Peach upside down cake.

Well, this post is a result of a huge bag of peach that I brought from the farmers market two weeks back. Not only Peach I also brought Plums and Cherries. Could not resist them as they were fresh , glowing and not to say they were on Sale too!!!. Thats why I love summers. While cherries and plums got over by sunday evening peaches were not touched. As my Husband hates peaches, the whole week I managed to finish off most of them by myself.

Finally I had 5 more ripe peaches left in the basket, and I started looking for a peach cake recipe. As usual I mix and matched few recipes and came up with this healthy version(no butter , no egg but some oil though) which made a delicious snack for our short trip over the weekend. Here is the recipe.

For the base.

4-5 ripe but firm peaches
2 tblsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnomon
1 tsp flour
1 tsp vanilla powder/essence

For the Cake:

1 cup All purpose flour

1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup milk
1tsp Baking soda
1 tsp cinnoman
1 tsp vanilla essence/powder


Preheat the oven to 350F /180 C

Coat the baking pan with a tsp of melted butter.


Boil a pot of water, remove from the heat and put the whole peaches in it, close with a lid. Peel the skin after 10 minutes.

Slice the peaches and place in a plate. Sprinkle cinnomon, brown sugar and vanilla essence and flour over it. Carefully toss it using a spoon so that its well coated.
Arrange these slices on the Baking pan. Reserve the left over juices from the fruit.

For the cake beat the sugar and oil well, and the add milk beat well. Sift the dry ingredients once or twice and then add to the sugar oil mixture. Add the reserved juices and blend well.
Pour the mixture over the arranged peaches. Bake for 30-35 mins

Invert the cake after its completly cooled.

Serve warm with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.

Since Peaches are very much in season here in july and august off this dish goes to the "Eating with the Seasons" hosted by Maninas

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Minty Couscous

Posting the recipe for the minty couscous that I made the other day along with stuffed tomatoes.This is my first attempt on couscous. I prepared it just like rava kichadi using bell peppers, except that I used olive oil instead of ghee. The result was not disappointing.
I think it goes along great with coconut chutney, but I was already tired preparing and clicking my tomatoes, we decided to just have it on its own, with stuffed tomatoes on the side.

1 cup couscous

1 medium onion sliced

4 garlic cloves chopped
1 medium bellpepper sliced
1 green chilli slit
1 cup chopped olives(optional)
a hand full of mint leaves

Method. In a pot, add the olive oil. When its hot add the garlic, onion and gren chili.Fry till opaque. Add the bellpeppers ,salt and fry well. Add 2 cups of water, throw in the mint and olives, close and allow it to boil. When the water is boiling , add the couscous and stir well. Close with a lid , simmer and cook for 10 minutes

  • We can also add some tomatoes and peas and other vegetables as per taste
  • It does not stick like Rava, so need not worry about lumps.
  • Amount of water may differ depending on the brand of couscous we use.

Off this goes to Ammalu's kitchen for the Herb Mania - Mint

Monday, July 14, 2008

Tried and Tasted - From Other Blogs

Will be updating this page regularly with all my Tried and Tasted recipes from other blogs.

Yogurt Berry Cake

Carrot Walnut Cake

Date Walnut Cake

Potato Rolls

Methi Channa

Avacado chappati

Stuffed Brinjal curry

Ridgeguard and potato curry

Arundathi's Yogurt Berry Cake

Arundathi's Yogurt Berry cake.

It was a very simple recipe and the taste was delicious. Recipe is just the same, I just did some almond topping.
Probably for my Oven conditions I should reduce the time by few minutes.

Recipe to Keep:
2 eggs
1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla essence
a handful of mixed berries
Preheat oven to 180deg C/350F 
Combine yogurt, eggs, sugar, vanilla and oil in a bowl until completely mixed.
Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda together.
Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients gradually until well combined. Sprinkle the berries on top - they will gradually sink into the cake as it bakes.
Pour into a round tin and bake for about 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Chilli Garlic Mushrooms

Decided to try something new for this months AWED - Chinese hosted by DK of Culinary Bazaar. This is my favorite event featuring new cuisine every month giving me an oppurtunity to explore new recipes.
Coming to Chinese cuisine I have never attempted anything apart from the regular fried rice and Veggie noodles.Though I cook mushroom atleast twice a week , its always in the form of some curry, or pulao. Thought why not give mushrooms a try with some nice and spicy Chinese recipe .With that in mind, started digging my recipe collections and found this small scribbling in a corner of a page, which had whole lot of recipes, waiting to be tried.
I remember noting it down from one of my favorite tamil magazine 'Aval Vikatan'.
This recipe seemed very simple and morever I had all the ingredients except vinegar. Since I dont like the taste of vinegar, replaced it with lime juice. At first I was a little hesistant to add tomato ketchup, but believe me a little sweetness enhances the taste.
I also tried the same recipe with cauliflower and also with chicken, both turned out great, will post them later this month.

Here you go with the recipe.

1 pack white button mushrooms, cut into quarters
1 medium onion sliced
1 medium green bell pepper sliced
3 medium garlic chopped
a very small piece of ginger chopped
1 tsp tomato ketchup
1 tsp chili powder
3 tblsp light soy sauce
1 tblsp corn powder dissolved in 3 tblsp water
1 tblsp lime juice
1/2 cup spring onion chopped

Cut mushrooms into halves.
Cut capsicums into halves, remove the seeds and cut into thin strips
Drain and keep aside.

In a pan add 2 tblsp of olive oil
Add the onion ,garlic and ginger and fry till translucent
Add capsicums and mushrooms. Add salt.
Stir fry till vegetables are tender crisp.
Add chili powder tomato ketchup and ¼ cup water. Simmer till almost dry
Add soy sauce and Lime juice. Mix corn flour with water and add.
Bring to a boil, simmer for 1 minute.
Sprinkle with spring onion ,give it a toss and switch off the stove.
Serve hot with roti's , noodles or fried rice

We can also add chopped green chillies along with garlic, instead of chili powder and vinegar instead of lime/lemon juice.

Monday, July 07, 2008


I have tasted spinach & cheese Stromboli many times. Everytime I used to think that making the dough would be something very time consuming.But last week when I stumbled upon this recipe in food network website, I was very glad to see that it requires just the basic pizza dough.
The recipe for this starter is very simple and it can be done in minutes if you have the right ingredients.Since the base needs a basic pizza dough, I used the store bought pizza flour mix, not the frozen one(which also works fine).I mixed and matched many recipes and came up with this list of ingredients for stuffing, which is because this is what I had left in my refrigerator that day :)
It turned out perfect and we loved it.
I think I will include chicken in the stuffing when I try it next time.

Any pizza dough, frozen or ready mix.

3 cloves garlic minced

1 green bell pepper thinly sliced

1 medium onion thinly sliced
1 tomato sliced
1/4 cup olives chopped
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese / any cheese of your choice
1 tsp olive oil

2-3 tblsp pasta sauce/marinara sauce ( its better if its chunky)
1 egg for egg wash / 1/4 cup

Preheat the oven to 350F /200C
Add the olive oil in a pan and fry the garlic ,onion and peppers.Keep aside.
Roll out the pizza dough into a rectangle , about 1/2 inch thick
Spread the onion mixture evenly leaving 1 inch at the borders.
Spread the tomatoes and olives over it.Top it with the pasta sauce.
Sprinkle the cheese as we do for pizza.

Brush one long end with the egg wash.

Roll the dough like a log, starting from the end without egg wash.

Brush the top with egg wash, and sprinkle some Italian seasoning
Place the log carefully on a baking sheet and bake for 20 - 25 mins.
Cut into think slices and serve warm.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Asha's Carrot-walnut cake

I have made carrot walnut muffins earlier.Was thinking of making the same recipe into a bread as a dessert for a dinner with friends.But came across Asha's Carrot cake recipe and my mind was set on it.
Whipped it first thing the next morning and it turned out great.

Some recipes will be in your bookmarks for ages, waiting for the moment, but some recipes will immediatly get your attention and make you get right into it.This is one such recipe.

Posting the recipe just for the record. I didnt prepare the glaze, however Iam publishing it for keepsake.Thanks Asha for such wonderful quick recipes

2 cups all purpose flour,
1/2 cup chopped walnuts,

1/4 cup Raisins,
1/2 granulated sugar,

1/2 cup brown sugar packed,
3 teaspoons baking powder,
1 tsp ground cinnamon,

1/2 tsp salt,
2 cups finely shredded fresh carrots,
1/2 cup milk,
1/3 cup vegetable oil,
1 egg.

How to bake:
Preheat oven to 350F/200C
Spray with no-stick oil inside one 9 1/2 x 5 1/2" loaf pan or three 5 3/4 x 3 1/2 inch loaf pans.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, nuts, sugars, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt until well blended. Stir in the remaining ingredients just until moistened.
Spoon into pan or pans. Bake 50 to 60 minutes for a large loaf, 35-45 minutes for small loaves, or until they are baked in the middle.
Cool on a rack before glazing.Place a wide plate under the cooling rack to glaze.


mix 1/2 pack of Cream Cheese,
1cup powdered sugar or more or less than you like,1 tsp Vanilla essence,drop or two Orange food color,and add enough milk to make it thin enough to pour to coat the cake.

Heat this for 40 secs in the microwave,not more than that.Whisk and pour on the cake with a plate underneath the cooling rack to catch the extra glaze.
Let the get firm on the cake and replace the plate with another and pour the glaze again on the cake until evenly coated.Garnish with baby carrots and walnuts.
Cover and chill the cake if you like or keep it in the cake dish covered.Tastes great the next day with all the goodness of Carrots and Walnuts!:)

Monday, June 30, 2008

Stuffed Tomatoes - Open Sesame II

Stuffed Tomatoes with herbed bread and olives

Finally managed to make the post on the last day of the event. By now I guess everyone would be familiar with what 'Open Sesame' is. Otherwise click here.

The answer to my riddle was 'Tomatoes' - the king of vegetables. With its cute crown it actually is a king right? My Riddle goes like this -

I think I am a pleased woman since I blush so much
I am so soft and shiny to your delicate touch
But look what I have for relatives, so different with no common string
one used for smoking, one for hotness, one used to refer idler and one referred as veggie's King
I am not what you refer to me most often
I am 'fruit' of labour but never called one
so I am neither a wolf nor a peach in the scale of one to ten
but then why do you think I am called one as so?
I can go green with envy, or completely red with anger
A little crown on my head makes my walk look like a swagger
You cant do without me in your day to day cooking
Tell me what veggie I am without too much thinking.

In Indian cuisine there are very few recipes that does'nt use this vegetable. As soon as I cracked the riddle (only the second time :)) I decided that I should try something special with tomatoes. After many research through all the food recipes, I fixed my mind on the following recipe.But it took till the last day to actually make the dish and post this recipe.
The recipe is very simple and it takes only a few minutes to prepare excluding the baking time

For Stuffing:

2 slices of whole wheat bread
a handful of chopped olives, green or black
2 tsp choped garlic
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tblsp parmesan cheese or any cheese of your choice.
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 375F or 200C
Toast 2 bread slices and cut into 1 inch cubes.

Mix all the stuffing ingredients and leave aside for 10 mins till the
bread pieces soak up the liquid.
Take 3 ripe and firm tomatoes.Slice the crown part and keep aside.

Carefully remove the pulp using a paring knife, taking care not to poke the tomatoes.
Discard the seeds and just add the chopped pulp to the stuffing mixture.
Rub the inner sides with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Stuff the tomatoes, rub the outer part with olive oil.
Replace the crown
Place in a baking dish and bake for 30-35 mins

Since we love mozzarella chesse I topped it with some shredded mozzarella after 30 mins and baked for another 7-8 mins.
You can avoid this part if you want.

I served it for dinner with a bowl of bell pepper - mint-couscous.

OK one more final picture..:)

If you like the post, picture and of course the dish please vote for me in 'Open sesame'

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Chicken , Tofu Fajita Wraps

Chicken Fajita Wraps

Nowadays it seems that each and every post of mine is linked to one or the other eventin the food blog world.This shows either the number of events is more or I have become so lazy that these events keeps me going. The later is very true.
This is one such event where the theme is my favorite too - Chicken.
Though Iam a big fan of Non-veg especially chicken, I have blogged only one or two dishes based on it.I made chicken several times this month for lunch and dinner for guests, but never found the time and patience to click some pictures.Finally last week I made a simple and quick dinner with the few tortilla wraps and managed to take a few shots of those.

Here is the recipe.

Slice some onions and peppers (any colors, I used red ,yellow and green) into thin strips

Slice 2 chicken breasts into thin strips.Marinate them with chili powder, 1 tblsp lemon juice, 1 tsp cumin powder, 1 tsp of dried oregano, some chopped garlic and salt.marinate it for
minimum of 20 mins.

Add 2 tblsp of olive oil in a pan, Add the marinated chicken strips , toss and turn the chicken pieces, allowing them cook well for atleast 10 mins. Remove the chicken pieces and keep aside. Add the sliced onion and peppers in the same pan and stir fry till the onion is browned and caramelized.


Warm the tortilla in a pan.
spread the chicken pieces , spread the stir fried onion-peppers, add 2tbsp of fajita sauce or salsa.(I used store bought ones) Finally top it up with some lettuce and a dollop of sour cream or yogurt.I used the later.Fold it into wraps.

Wrap the bottom of the fajitas with a thin strip of aluminum foil to hold it together.

These Fajita wraps are going to Chicken - My Favorite

Tofu wraps

The tortilla package I bought had 8 of them and the instructions told not to refrigerate them for more than 4 days.Since I used only 4 of them I decided to do an other Fajita wrap this time with Tofu.

Squeeze the water from the tofu ,cut into cubes and marinate with 2 tsp of soy sauce, 1 tsp of chilli powder, 2 tsp of chopped garlic and salt for aleast 20 mins.
Add it in a hot pan with 2 tblsp of oilve oil. Toss and turn for 10 mins, until the tofu is cooked through.

Rest of the ingredients , and assembling is the same as in chicken fajita recipe above.

Since both Tofu and chicken are rich in Protein, these Fajitas also goes to Sangeeths
'Eat Healthy - Protein rich'

Check out an other yummy protein rich recipe here ,

Friday, June 27, 2008

Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambhu/Lentil dumplings in spiced tamarind sauce

Most authentic Tamil recipes uses tamarind. Be it sambhar, kuzhambhu, kootu or rasam tamarind plays a major role in Tamilian cuisine .
Any tamarind based sauce with a main ingredient and without dhal is called 'Kuzhambhu' ('z' is pronounced as 'lha'). The name varies as per the main vegetable or ingredient added to it like poondu kuzhambhu or kathirikai kuzhambhu etc., I think we can just start a whole event on just kuzhambhu varieties alone :) .But I hate when people call anything and everything 'curry' when certain dishes has its own name .
Anyways while growing up the typical lunch menu for a week in my household would go something like this. Tuesday and Friday - sambhar , Saturdays - kuzhambhu with any dried beans like mochai, black channa, karamani/black eyed beans, Mondays would be any vegetable kootu/mor kuzhambhu , wednesday - seafood/any veggie kuzhambhu and sundays will definitely be a feast with Non-Veg.
Coming from a family that has kulambhu for atleast 3 days in a week JFI - Tamarind was a delight to participate.
Here is an authentic recipe for parrupu urundai kuzhambhu.
The lentils are soaked , grinded, made into balls and steamed.Then these are added to the spicy boiling sauce.Though the ingredients and the recipe looks lengthy its worth the effort.

This kuzhambhu served with rice and keerai /greens poriyal makes a perfect meal.

For the Urundai/dumplings:
1 cup Toor dhal
1 medium onion finly chopped
1 tblsp chopped coriander leaves
2 red chilies
1/4 tsp sombhu/fennel seeds
1/2 tsp jeera seeds


Soak the dhal in water for 2-3 hours
Roast the red chillies, sombhu and jeera in a medium flame for few minutes.
Add them to the soaked dhal and grind coarsly. Make sure its not watery.

To the grinded dhal add choped onion, garlic , salt and coriander leaves.
Make it into lime sized balls and the steam it using the idli plates for 10 mins.
Cool the dumplings.

For kuzhambhu:

1 medium onion
5-6 garlic cloves
1/2 inch ginger finely chopped
2 medium tomatoes
lemon sized tamarind ball soaked in water or 2 tsp of thick tamarind paste soaked in 1/4 cup water.

To Grind:
2 tsp coriander seeds
10 red chillies
1/2 tsp jeera
1/4 tsp sombhu/fennel

Dry fry all the above in a pan and grind it to a powder.
Alternatively you can also add water and grind it to a paste.

For Tempering
Mustard - 1/2 tsp
fenugreek /vendhaiyam - 1/2 tsp
few curry leaves

Chop the onion garlic and ginger, and tomatoes keep aside.
Add a few tblsp of oil and add the tempering ingredients.When the mustard pop add the chopped onion garlic and ginger and fry well.
Add the tomatoes when the onion is golden brown.
When the tomatoes turn into a pulp add the tamarind water, salt , the grinded masala and turmeric powder.Add 3 cups of water and allow it boil for 10 mins.
Now add the steamed lentil balls /urundai's and allow it to boil for another 7-8 mins.
Allow it to rest for atleast one hour before serving.The sauce thickens as it cools.
If the sauce is watery break one or two dumplings and dissolve in the sauce.

This delicious kuzhambhu goes to the JFI event hosted by Sig with the theme as Tamarind for this month.

Click here for another kuzhambu recipe that uses black eyed peas

This dish also goes to this months "Eat Healthy - Protein rich" event by Sangeeth

Stuffed Chilli Bhajji's and a late dinner

I love Bhajji and I make it quite often with different veggies and egg. I have never heard of Bhajjis with stuffings until I saw few posts on the food blogs.Whenever I see a post on this dish I bookmark it to try the next time when I tend to make some. But as usual it has been months and months and it never happened.This months Sia's MBP - street food event which originated in the spicecafe gave me a nice push to try this dish. Back in chennai , Bhajji being one of the all time favourite street food our trips to the marina beech (or any beech ) has never been completed without stuffing our tummy with these hot and spicy goodies. So I started digging around my bookmarks and patrolling the blogs and finally settled down on Sia's recipe.

I made the stuffing using the variations suggested by Sia.The only change I made is
added 1/ 4 cup rice flour instead of 1 tblsp.I also cut the chillies before frying as my chillies were big and my kadai didnt fit the whole one.
I chose banana peppers and removed the seeds from it, the result turned out great.
I also made some onion bhajji as u see in the picture
with the left over batter

I made it as a snack, but unfortunately that day hubby came very late from work and also my kid didnt allow me to cook dinner. We had it as a side dish for hot steaming rasam and white rice .Though it was a late dinner we enjoyed our food thoroughly.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Express Breakfast

Egg Scramble with Mixed veggies and mint.

The title says it all. This was our breakfast this sunday.
We had planned to go around brussels this sunday but got up very late to make an elaborate breakfast.Feeding my kid and getting him ready to go out is a huge task nowadays.So just entered the kitchen and chopped up all the left over vegetables (wiped my fridge clean except some tomatoes).I stir fried all the vegetables, added the beaten egges, and scarambled them with salt, pepper and some chopped mint.The mint gave the scramble a fresh taste.A bowl of egg scramble with glass of freshly squeezed orange juice made us kickstart our sunday morning.

I added onions, green chillies, greeen peppers , yellow peppers, mushrooms and some spring onions, and stired them in the same order.You can add any coloured peppers, zucchini, carrots or any vegetables you want.Iam sending this as an entry to the WBB-Expressbreakfast event hosted by Raaga - The singing chef.

BTW I had received an award from 'Vegetable Platter'.She thinks my blog is Yummy.Iam very delighted to post this in my blog

Since I browse all the blogs randomly, I think all blogs are yummy in their own way.So I pass it on to all the fellow food bloggers :)

Iam not sweets person, but I too have my favorites...
  • toblerone chocolate

  • carrot halwa with vanilla icecream

  • chocolate cake with chocolate icing

  • gulab jamun

Since eggs are packed with protein this dish goes to Sangeeth "Eat Healthy- Protein rich" event

Friday, June 20, 2008

Spicy Tomato Chutney

The moment I saw the post about the theme for this months MEC - Bottled, by Srivalli this chutney was the one that came to my mind. This is one of my favorite chutneys while growing up. My mom makes it so spicy that we would atleast add 3 - 4 tsps of gingelly oil to compensate the heat, but it would be heavenly with hot steaming Idli's. I have adapted the recipe to be done in microwave. If you have a can of tomato paste or crushed tomatoes your chutney is ready in about 10 mins.

If you bottle it up(or in a airtight container) and store it in the refrigerator, it will be good for almost a week.It comes really handy for one of those bad days during the week when you just dont want to enter the kitchen.I have had plenty of those days when this chutney had been my real savior.I would just heat up some frozen roti/chapati or make some dosas and would be done for the day in minutes.

Here's how I make it.


1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 large can of tomato paste/crushed tomatoes.
1 tbsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder

salt to taste
mustard seeds, urad dhal curry leaves for tempering.


Heat 3tbsp of oil in Microwave proof dish. Traditionally gingelly oil suits well for this chutney but you can use Extra virgin olive oil if you like to get rid of some of the guilt.
Add the tempering ingredients and heat for 1 min, or till the urad dhal is browned.

Add the chopped garlic and onions and heat for 2 mins

Add the tomato paste, chili powder, salt and turmeric , heat for 5 - 6 mins or until the raw smell disappears.Check for salt.

You can adjust the spice level as per your taste.

Note: For regular cooking just do the tempering, saute the onion -garlic , add the tomato paste and other masala, cover and boil for about 10 - 12 mins in medium heat.

Add few tsps of gingelly oil and serve with warm Dosa's or Roti's

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Cabbage Fried Rice

Here in Belgium, or atleast in the small town where Iam residing now its very difficult to find Cabbage in stores. Last week to my surprise I could find that our grocery store has stocked up on some cabbages, but the problem was it was really really huge.After convincing my husband that I would use them up without wasting I brought home a cabbage weighing 3 kg.
So for the next few days our menu went on like this cabbage kootu, cabbage poriyal, cabbage sambhar, and some cabbage paratha's too. Finally I had a last chunk which was also the last item in my fridge waiting to be turned into something interesting.
I shredded up all of the remaining cabbage and made some fried rice which turned out very flavourful and yummy.

Iam sending this over to mixed rice varieties event hosted by EC of SimpleIndianFood

Here is the recipe

2 cups cooked and cooled rice
3 cups of shredded cabbage(its better to shred the cabbage using a mandolin or a potato slicer, that way you will get thin strips)
1/2 green capsicum sliced into thin strips
1 medium onion sliced thin
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 tsp chopped ginger
1 green chilli finely chopped
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tbsp soy sauce
some chopped up spring onions.
1 egg (optional)


Add 2 tbsp oil in a non stick pan.
Add the chopped ginger, garlic and green chillies, onions , white part of the spring onions, capsicum and fry well.
Now add the shredded cabbage and fry till it shrinks.
Add the soy sauce , chili powder salt and mix well.
Stir for few minutes until the raw smell disappears.
Add the rice and mix well.Check for salt.
Garnish with green parts of the spring onions.

Note: If you want to add an egg, make a well in the center, add a few tsp of oil , add the egg allow it to set , then scramble and mix well with the fried rice.

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