Easy and joyful cooking

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Bottlegourd in Tamarind Sauce(Sorakaya pulusu)

Summer days are coming to end. It is raining on and off in our area from last 3 days. I like rainy season bcz it brings new life to the nature. I want to eat something hot and tangy and so prepared this bottlegourd gravy.

Sorakaya pulusu

1/4 Bottlegourd peeled and cut into cubes
1 meduim onion, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
2 tbsp tamarind paste
Chunk of jaggery or 2 tbsp of sugar
2 chilies
salt and redchilli powder

Ingredients for tadka/seasoning:
1 tbsp each cumin seeds, mustard seeds, chanadal and urad dal.

Sorakaya pulusu with rice

In a pan take 2 tbsp oil and fry all the seasoning ingredients. Add the onions and fry for sometime. Add green chillies and tomato. If you have tomato paste add 3 tbsp of tomato paste. Add bottlegourd pieces,salt,redchilli powder and combine everything. Add tamarind paste and some water and cook until sauce thickens. Before turning off stove add jaggery. Enjoy it hot with rice.
You can also see another version of this curry by vindu.

Friday, August 25, 2006


No cooking,No dishes.. yet tasty and satisfying meal is vegetable sandwich. I always wonder how they come with the idea of putting all raw vegatables in between two breads. Its true that we indians who are used to cooking all vegetables thoroughly before eating are apprehensive about eating sandwich,even i was no exception initially. But once used to the unique taste of combining all vegetables with cheese and other ingredients i became a lover of this sandwich. Above all it is easy and healthy.

Eat fast

There are many versions of sandwiches but this one i like most.

Club rolls or sandwich breads
Pickles(dill or cucumber)
Sandwich toppers(includes red and yellow bell peppers)
Cream Cheese
Mayonnaise(or sour cream)
Salt and pepper.

First split the club roll slightly and spread cheese inside and keep in the oven of 350F for about 2-3 minutes. Cut lettuce,tomato,onion and capsicum. Now Layer the inside with lettuce and then with all other vegetables and pickles. Top with mayonnaise,salt and pepper. That's it. Sandwich is ready.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Blueberry Muffins

hBerries are Summer time treat and blueberries are small of all berries. As a fruit i don't like much to eat but its blue color adds unique color to foods. Also this tiny fruit plays a big role as healthy fruit. I brought blueberries from a local market which opens only in summer and stalls are held by local farmers. The rates are pretty high compared to other shops, the reason they say are all fruits and vegetables are organic. I want to use these precious blueberries and here it is blueberry muffins.

blueberry muffins

2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup melted butter
3/4 cup milk
1 cup sugar
1 egg
pinch of salt

ready to go into the oven

In a bowl mix sugar,butter,milk and egg. In a large bowl sift flour,baking soda,baking powder and salt. To this add the egg mixture. Coat blueberries with 1 tbsp of flour and add these blueberries to the flour. Combine everything gently. Don't over mix. Line muffin pan with paper liners. Now place this batter into muffin cups and bake in the oven of 450F for 20-25 minutes.

Note: If the batter is thick you can add some more milk. Also can substitue milk with yogurt and butter with vegetable oil.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Thiranga(tri-color) puri

Thiranga puri

One of my favourite moments of Independence day is flag hoisting. Singing the national anthem and seeing the flag dangling freely and proudly in air brings some kind of patriotic feeling. Also its time to sweeten our taste buds with the candies and biscuits.

Lining up the dough like a flag with a blueberry in middle.

National Flag symbolises a country. There are three colors in a flag with blue wheel in the middle. In the national flag of India the top band is of Saffron colour, indicating the strength and courage of the country. The white middle band, indicates peace and truth with Dharma Chakra. The last band is green in colour shows the fertility , growth and auspiciousness of the land.

I made this puri to represent the Flag. This idea is from my friend who once prepared this puri and told that her mother used to prepare this on Independence day.


Wheat flour
Beet Root

Puree beet root and spinach. If the beetroot is hard, boil first and then puree. Prepare 3 doughs with chapathi flour. One with beetroot puree, other with spinach puree and third dough is plain one.

Roll each dough into a long threads and arrange them closely in the order. Cut into small pieces and make small balls. Flatten each ball and fry in oil. Serve with curry. A healthy and easy way to Celebrate our Independence Day.

Our patriotic meal

My Contibution to Indira's Independence day food parade.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Tribute to India

"India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, grandmother of legend, and great grand mother of tradition. Our most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only." - MarkTwain

My motherland India is celebrating its 60th year of freedom on August 15. On this eve, I would like to share some videos depicting the culture and diversity of India.

National song of India- Vandemataram, sung by Lata Mangeshkar.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Congratulations and Thankyou.

After seeing the articles about foodblogs by talented Sravanthi and Vijayashree, i want to express some thoughts after being part of this world for 3 months.

Like many people, iam also looking for a opportunity to kill my boring time. Before having kid i used to watch movies, chatting with friends and sleeping. Now with kid comes the change. i want to utilize my sparing time properly and effectively.

Thanks to the globalisation i got aquainted to many food habits in and out of my country. Having friends from different cultures also probed me to learn more about their cuisines. Whenever i want some recipe i used to google and try them but after a while i forgot that procedure and so again go searching. Then i came across blogs and to my wonder it is like stepping into a different world the more i see the more i get. With photos, the food blogs makes us to crave for them before trying and it is defintely a plus point for the food blogs to gain popularity. I used to think that some kinds of foods (like cakes, cookies, naan etc) can be done by professional chefs and be eaten outside. But iam amazed to see that many like me are preparing them and so why can't i learn and try. This change of attitude is possible only with blogs where we know about the person who prepares it and feel close to them. Another thing is writing skills..after spending 3-4 years at home without doing much i feel like losing grip on my literature and blogging increased my will to improvise and learn. Now, if everyone asks what is that you are gaining sitting before the computer.. i simply smile. Thankyou Blog.

Congratulations to Sailusfood, Mahanandi, Vineelascooking, Green Jackfruit, Chaipani, Gluttony is no sin, SpiceQueen, Onehotstove for leaving your prints in this blog world.

String Beans Fry with Coconut

I was introduced to frozen french cut beans by my husband and i too for 2 years stick to them inspite of getting fresh beans outside, may be because iam reluctant to change or lazy to cut them and cook. Once my friend made this curry and i feel like i lost something in my version of beans and yeah that is taste..the taste of freshness. Now, Frequently i will be seen digging up fresh beans at my local farm market.

Fresh StringBeans - 1/4 kg
Freshly grated coconut- 1/2 cup
Curry leaves, Red chillies, Mustard seeds, cumin,urad dal and chana dal for tempering.
Dhaniya powder- 1/2 tbsp

Clean and cut the beans into small pieces(requires patience but can cut 5,6 beans to save time). Now boil the cut beans till they are cooked. In a pan take 3,4 tbsp of oil and fry all the tempering ingredients. I would like to add 1 tbsp more urad dal and chana dal than normal bcz they will give nice look. Add the cooked cut beans and fry for sometime. Add salt, chillipowder and turmeric. Add grated coconut and fry for 2 min in meduim heat. Sprinkle dhaniya powder just before finishing. Goes well with rice and rotis.

(beans fry with coconut)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Pineapple pie

Pies are integral part of american cooking and there is also famous saying "As American as apple pie". Even Pie making lessons are there in kids classes and programs. Initially i was little skeptical about making pie bcz i have an inner feeling that its difficult but iam wrong... pie making is easy and less laborious.

Of all pies i like pineapple pie the most. The crunchy and sweet pinepple filling is a delight to my senses.

Fresh baked pineapple pie

For crust:
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 stick chilled unsalted butter
1/4 tsp salt
ice water

For pineapple filling:
4 cups pineapple cubes (you can use canned pineapple chunks)
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp cinammon powder
1/4 cup cornstartch
1 tbsp chilled butter cut into small pieces

1 egg.


Mix flour and salt in a bowl and with hands or fork cut chilled butter with flour. Add ice water and blend the dough into a ball. Divide into 2 balls, wrap the balls in a plastic wrap or in ziploc and refigerate for 1 hour to become firm.

Meanwhile prepare filling by combining pineapple cubes,cornstarch,butter and sugar.

Now roll the balls into a 2 circles of approx 11 inches diameter. Layer the bottom of the pie plate with 1 rolled circle and place the filling on it. Cover the filling with another layer and press the edges of both layers. Trim extra dough on the edges of pie plate. Make slits in the top layer and brush with beaten egg.

Bake in center rack of 400F oven for 15 min and then reduce to 350F and bake for another 20-25 minute or until crust is golden brown in color.

Remove from oven and cool to room temperature before tasting.

Slice of Pineapple pie for this month's JFI event 'Flour'