Easy and joyful cooking

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Plantain Yogurt Chutney

When i say plantain many of you (esp keralites) have plantian chips in mind. But for me i think about how much yogurt is at home to prepare chutney.
This is one of many recipes i learned from my mother-in-law. Since then its my favourite dish. An irresistible combination of thick plantain texture, hot chilles and cool yogurt. Very easy and the end result is equally satisfying.

Plantain Yogurt chutney

1 large plantain
6-7 green chilles
Yogurt as needed - approx 1 cup

For tempering:
Curry leaves
2 Red chilles
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds


Cut the plantain crosswise to 3 pieces and boil. After the plantain is cooked remove the outer skin and cut into cubes. Grind plantain cubes and chillies with yogurt till you get the required consistency of chutney. Add salt. In a pan take 2 tbsp of oil and fry all the tempering ingredients and add that to the chutney. Goes well with rice.

You can also see this recipe at KrishnaArjuna's blog.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Mint leaves

Bringing flavour to my kitchen.

Entry for greenblog project by LG

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Birthday Cake - My first attempt.

Yesterday was my husband's(Mohan) birthday. Every year i prepare cake with cake mix but this time with the knowledge and inspiration gained from fellowbloggers, i made an attempt. I know that storebrought cake mix gives better taste but this trail gave me immense satisfaction and somewhat proud feeling. Decorating the cake looks easy but it requires experience and patience. I may not be very good compare to others but gave me gut feeling that i will improve in consecutive endeavors.

(happy birthday)

The base for this cake is carrot as my husband many times looks out for carrot cake in the stores. And also it is healthy and can be done with minimal ingredients i have.


For base:

3 cups grated carrots
2 and 1/2 cups All purpose flour
1 and 1/2 tbsp baking soda
1/3 tbsp salt
2 tbsp cinnamon powder
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
3 large eggs
2 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup crushed pineapple
1 cup raisins

I used store brought icing and used food color brought from indian stores and mixed that color with part of the icing. Next time I will prepare Icing.


In a bowl stir flour,baking soda, salt, cinnamon powder and sugars. Add vanilla extract and eggs. Blend well. Add crushed pineapple, grated carrots, raisins and mix well. Por the mixture in two seperate 7" or 9" round pans. Bake in the oven of 350 F for about 30 to 40 minutes or until done. Cool the cakes. Place one cake inverted with bottom side up and spread icing over it. Place another cake(with round bulged side up) on top of icing and press softly. Now with wide spoon i decorated the cake.

(carrot cake)

Recipe courtesy: Mrs.Fields Book.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Tapioca(sabudana)kheer - summer drink

Its summer time. Sun God is showing his power and temperatures are rising leaving us sweating and thirsty. Though its hot, i like summer because all sweet things comes in summer like mangoes, berries, sweet corn, icecreams and milkshakes. One such summer drink i like is with tapioca.

tapioca or pearls??

Tapioca resembles of white pearls round, smooth and shiny. Made of root it is a starchy ingredient used mainly in desserts. If you are tea lovers, another popular drink with tapioca pearls is bubble tea of taiwan.

3/4 cup tapioca pearls
3 cups milk
sweetend coconut(shredded)
sugar (accordingly)
1/4 tbsp cardamom powder


Boil about 4 cups of water and add tapoica pearls to it. Tapoica expands when boiled so make sure there is enough water otherwise the liquid become sticky. When tapoica pearls are boiled they become transparent. Now run under cold water. In a bowl boil milk and add sugar to it. Add shredded coconut and cardamom powder. Transfer boiled tapioca pearls and cook for some time. Chill and serve with fruits on top.
Note: You can also add coconut milk in place of shredded coconut.

Cool off your summer with this drink.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Learning series: 2

Ok..what i learned new?? Recipes made from mango. Yummy isn't it. Probably the only fruit every indian craves more for. When i came to know i was coming to US, i felt so bad for mangoes that i ate so many that year thinking i never gonna taste them but thanks to the globalisation we are not missing mangoes(atleast flavour) here. In India i don't know about pulp being sold in tins and can be used year long, may be there is no need. Here i always have a tin at home. I usually do mango lassi with that. Then i tasted something different in a friend's house prepared from this and gelatin and it is mango pie. I wanted to do at home and and i found it in indira's jihva event thanks to vee for letting me know the method. I made this pie gathering information from my friend and vee. Here is this:

Mango pie

Also i prepared vaishali's methamba-sweet and savoury mango relish. In her blog she mentioned this will go with meals,parathas and dosas and believe me i like so much the sweet,sour and hot taste i ate only methamba and finished it before going to meals.

Mango relish

Monday, July 10, 2006

Boondhi laddu

No occasion or celebration needed for me to make sweets. I prefer to do experimenting on sweets because whether it is hit or not the end dish is always sweet.

This time my favourite: Boondhi laddu. Despite of paintaking process we forget all that once we take a bite of this laddu. It always reminds me of indian marriages where you get this type of popular sweets. The laddu also got a famous accoladation as it is served as a prasadam in famous south indian temple Tirupathi.

3 cups besan flour
2 cups sugar
Handful of raisins and cashews tossed in hot ghee.
Cardamom powder-1 tbsp

(different types of strainers) for India Kitchen

Equipment: Special Boondhi ladle(generously borrowed from my friend) or a strainer having small round holes like the top one in picture.


Mix besan flour with enough water and prepare batter without lumps. The consistency of the batter should be like pancake batter not too watery nor thick. Heat oil in a pan. Be sure that oil reaches enough temperature and is hot. Hold the strainer on top of the oil and pour small bowl of batter on the strainer. Shake the strainer slowly with intermediate touchups with glass. Now you can see the drops of batter turning like pearls in oil. Fry just until the drops of batter turns golden yellow not too crisp.

Meanwhile on another stove prepare sugar syrup by adding 2 cups of sugar and 2 cups of water. Add cardamom powder to it. Preparing syrup for me is the tricky part sometimes the consistency is too thin or too thick. Syrup should get 1-1/2 thread consistency. The best way is to place a drop of syrup on bowl of cold water if it dissolves immediately then we need to wait for some more time.

Add the boondhi,cashews and raisins(In my laddu i forgot to add cashews and raisins while iam on phone talking to a friend) to the syrup and cool for some time. When boondhi is still warm make into small balls with hand.

Delicious boondhi laddu