Lauki ki Sabzi

There have been quite a lot of lauki sabji's in the blogosphere a few days back making me want to make some too. The problem is Jeeves hates lauki..what a bummer :( ..keeps telling me it reminds him of the horrible hostel horrible and food really do not belong in the same sentence! so i do not make this sabji as often as i would like to.
Last week i had made kathrikai curry (brinjal curry) and i hate brinjal and had quite a lot left i decided to make my lauki sabji. I had no tomatoes on had and no canned ones and i wanted one with a gravy, i decided to improvise with what i had in hand. It is so simple,tasty and i had some left-over next day,which i had with uthappam..yummy!...Here is the recipe....


Lauki (Bottle-Gourd) - 1 meduim, cut in cubes
Red Chilly - 4
Garlic - 3 pods
Onions - 1/2 medium (diced)
Peanuts - 1/4 cup
Sesame Seeds - 2 tbls
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp.
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp.
Oil - 2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp.
Curry leaves - 3/4 torn


1. Boil all the lauki pcs with reqd. salt in 1 cup of water till they are cooked. Take care that they do not get mushy.

2. In a pan put 1 tsp of oil and fry lightly the onions,garlic,red-chilly, sesame seeds and peanuts.

3. Blend the roasted mixture in a blender adding some hot water and making a paste.

4. In a pan, add the remaining 1 tsp. oil, then the cumin seeds. Then add the blended mixture and cook on low flame for a couple of minutes.

5. Add the turmeric powder,red-chilly powder,curry leaves and some salt (keeping in mind the lauki is salted) and fry this mixture for about a minute more. Then add the lauki pcs, cook the sabji in medium flame for about 3-4 minutes and remove from heat.

This tastes better the next day!! really do not know why...

I wish i could claim that Jeeves loved it....but alas! he did not even taste it!! i kept telling him how he is missing out and how he must eat different veggies and lot of bull....and he offered me the brinjal...yep..that shut me up ;)....but i loved the sabji...his loss


Peanut Chundal

Growing up I remember accompanying my mom to many homes during Navrathri for vetalai-paak. it would be we would get some gift and i would get to hear the gossip..which by the way i would repeat verbatim to my sis who refused to come to any such places and chundal (not a hot favorite). The painful part was the singing..and i used to sing a song which was just 4 lines...any time there was a request to sing a song...bam! i would sing that song in express speed ;)

I have not been a big fan of chundal and when amma made it i actually would combine it with the vella-payasam or something sweet and eat..The only chundal i would eat and protect it as if it were my property is peanut chundal. I love it is obvious why i love this.

The recipe is soo easy and cannot overeat it..even if you is just not possible!!


Peanuts : 1/2 cup
Oil - 1 tsp.
Mustard Seeds - 1/4 tsp.
Urad Dal and Chana Dal - 1/4 tsp. each
Red Chilly - 2
Hing - a pinch
Coconut Grated - 1 tbls
Curry leaves - 4 torn
Salt - as needed


1. Pressure cook the peanuts with reqd. salt and keep aside.

2. In a pan, add the oil, then the mustard seeds. When they splutter, add the dals and the red chilly and fry till the dals change color.

3. Add the Curry leaves and hing and cook for a couple of seconds..then add the peanuts and cook for a couple of minutes.

4. Finish it off by adding the grated coconut.

This is off to Viji of Vcuisine who is hosting RCI - Tamil Festivals.


Peach Strawberry Cobbler

I actually wanted to make a savoury dish with peaches but the veggies i had on hand gave me no was then i decided to make a cobbler. I usually look to make cobblers when i have an overload of fruits and i have a craving to eat cake!! ...the cobbler seem to multi-task on that level. This cobbler recipe is really easy and quick and made up on the i make these quite often.

Honestly..this is a bad photo..but it was 9:00 pm..and i was waiting to dig in...and after we ate some..the dish looked pretty i had eaten a lot of the cakey top ;)


Peaches - 2 cups sliced (fresh - with skin peeled)
Strawberry - 2 cups sliced
Sugar - 3/4 cup ( 1/2 cup +1/4 cup)
Milk - 3/4 cup (used 2%)
Vanilla Extract - 1 tbls.
All purpose flour - 1 cup
Baking soda - 1 tsp.
Baking powder - 1 tsp.
Butter - 1 tbls
Salt - 1/4 tsp.


1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.

2. Melt the butter in a pan and keep aside. Slice the fruits sprinkle them with 1/4 cup of sugar and keep aside in a bowl

3. Sift the flour,baking soda,baking powder and 1/2 cup sugar in a big bowl.

3. Mix the milk,vanilla extract,melted butter and add it to the flour to make a smooth batter.

4. Butter a baking dish (8*4) and pour the smooth batter in it and arrange the fruits on top...dunk the fruits a little in batter.

5. Bake for 40 mts till bubbly.


You can increase the sugar to 1 cup...depending on the sweetness of the cobbler was a little low on sweet..tho the batter was sweet when tasted raw.

You can also use fat-free milk to make it lower in fat, i had 2 % on hand. i could have diluted it with some water..but i forgot.

The leftovers can be frozen for a month...just thaw it out in room temp and warm it in a 300F oven for 15 mts.

This is off to Mansi of Fun and Food who is hosting the AFAM - Peach.


Healthy Sprouts

When i used to think of sprouts as a teen it would be the horrible uncooked kind with some lemon squeezed on top with cucumbers and carrots and the same damn saying of 'it's good for you'. I think i fell in love with them when amma made usal and put her foot down that i must try it. Up till then i had somehow been able to escape eating it..but that day i was in a fix!! Lucky for me i loved it and still do and i eat it at-least twice a week without ever getting bored. But, the only way i like them is sauteed lightly ....and to a point where they sill retain their crunch. They are also great for you and keep you full for a long time.

I had never sprouted horse-gram (also known as kollu-tamil) till my previous visit to india where amma had started including them in her daily sprout mix. I loved its tasted something like mujjadra (middle-eastern dish) when sauteed with onions. In this recipe i combine sprouted horse-gram and the ever popular green moong with some veggies for a crunchy and satisfying tiffin or dinner when combined with soup.


Green moong sprouts : 1 cup
Horse gram sprouts: 1/2 cup
Carrots:1 cup (diced)
Onions: 1/2 cup (diced very small)
Garlic: 2 pods (thinly sliced)
Ginger: 1" (grated)
Jeera - 1 tsp.
Curry leaves - 3 to 4,torn
Salt - to taste
Oil - 1 tsp.


1. In a wok, add the oil and add jeera.

2. Add the onions,ginger and garlic and fry till the onions have softened. Add the carrots and cook till they are cooked half-way...( have an uncooked taste..but not too crunchy)

3. Toss in the curry leaves,sprouts and salt and cook for a couple more minutes, till the carrots are cooked..but have a bite to them. You can sprinkle some water to help it along.

4. Serve them immediately, as they are not that great to taste when cold.


You sprout the horse-gram the same way you would the green moong. To know more about horse gram you can see Wikipedia

You can add equal measures of both sprouts or add in more sprouts to the mix. I personally think these taste great when crunchy and not when mushy and fully cooked.

This is off to Hima of SnackoRama who is hosting WYF- Diet Food


Saffron Ricotta with sweet carrots

also known as gajar halwa by many of us ;)...hey! it was the think spice-saffron i had to play up the saffron part..can't a girl try!!

Love gajar halwa and growing up always ate the grated kind. Jeeves has grown up eating the one made to a smooth now i make it as a mix of both. I grind the carrots coarsely in the it has a bite and is kinda smooth . There are so many ways of making this halwa..amma always makes it with milk, my sis makes with khoya...i thought why not make it a mix of this is a light version tho pretty rich on taste.

Here is the recipe:

Carrots - 6 large
Low fat Ricotta - 12 oz
Fat Free milk powder - 4 tbls
Fat free milk - 1/4 cup
Sugar - 2 cups
Saffron - 2 generous pinches
Mixed Nuts - 1/4 cup ( cashews,raisins,almonds)
Butter - 2 tbls
Cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp.


1.In a large pan, mix the ricotta and the milk powder and cook over medium-low heat till all the moisture evaporates. Add in the saffron and keep aside in a bowl.

2. Cut the carrots in small cubes and grind them coarsely in the blender adding some milk to help it along.

3. Add 1 tbls of butter in a kadai..make it into ghee and add the nuts. When the raisins plump up remove the nuts in a bowl and keep aside.

4. Melt the remaining 1 tbls butter to make into ghee and add the ground carrots with the sugar and cook till the mixture reduces and starts to thicken.

5. Add the saffron ricotta in, cook over low heat for 15-20 mts. Add the nuts and remove from heat. Now serve urself a generous portion and think about the calories after you finish eating it ;)


1. Can reduce the sugar to 1 1/2 cups.

2. Can use ghee instead of butter..i just like freshly made..i know..what a nut!

3. The halwa is really creamy and tastes rich..tho it has a lot of low fat elements to it.

This is off to Sunita of Sunita's World and who is hosting the Think Spice Event- Saffron...


Brown Bread

As a teen i hated brown bread....i always felt it was a little to dense for my palette. Now as an adult i have come to enjoy the earthiness of it and i love whole grain and other rustic bread...but honestly, i still love white bread :)

I was looking thru the fav. pass time..and realized that world bread day was on Oct. 16th... and i have been dreaming paninis for a while, so i decided to bake some that i could make paninis. Actually after my experiments with baking, i have become a sort of snob if i must say so...i only love the bread baked super fresh and home-made.....which translates to....i like only what i bake (shameful!) I got this super easy recipe from the book called 'Bread' by Eric Treuille and Ursula Ferrigno and i decided to go ahead and give it a go. I did make a few changes and that is documented in brackets ().

Ballymaloe Brown Bread - adapted from 'Bread'


Dry Yeast - 3 1/2 tsp. (i used 2 sachets - which is 4 tsp.)
Water - 1 2/3 cups. ( i needed 1/4 cup more than what was asked)
Mollases - 1 tsp.
Whole Wheat flour - 3 3/4 cup ( i used 2 3/4 cup whole wheat and 1 cup bread flour)
Salt - 2 tsp.


1. Grease a loaf pan and warm it in a 250 F oven for 10 mts. Remove and keep aside in a warm place.

2. In a bowl take 2/3 cup of warm water and add the yeast and let it sit for 5 mts. After 5 minutes give it a stir to dissolve the yeast completely and add the mollases. Let this mixture stay for 10 mts, till it is frothy on top.

3. In a big bowl,combine the flour and salt. Make a well in the center and add the yeast and start kneading the dough. Slowly add the remaning 1 cup of water as needed and add more water if the dough is still dry 1 tbls at a time.

4. When the dough comes together knead it well till it leaves the sides of the bowl and forms a soft dough.

5. Place the dough in the preheated loaf pan, cover with a dish towel and let it rise for 30 minutes.

6. Preheat the oven to 450 F and bake the bread for 30 minutes, then lower the heat to 400 F and bake for a further 15 minutes.

7. Take the bread out and place it in the oven bottom side up in a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes (i skipped this) . You will know the bread is done when a hollow sound comes when you tap underneath.

8. Cool the bread on a wire or metal rack.


I would not substitute the bread flour for the whole wheat flour next time, as the bread turned out great...not too grainy.

I love this bread as there is no double rising time...just one rise and done! but it tastes really good.

This is off to Zorra who is hosting the World Bread Day.

Launji and Dal

I love gujarati and rajasthani food. I remember going to a hotel more of a boarding and lodging place where outsiders can come to eat lunch and dinner in hyderabad that serves this excellent gujarati,rajasthani and marwadi food. The thalis are to die for..and the best part is unlimited food. The ambiance is so homey and the server is a man who is there for 20+ years easy...serves you so lovingly that you land up overeating but loving every minute of it. The food there has both garlic and non-garlic version..which was perfect for us as amma and appa do not take garlic and my sis and me basically inhale it! I remember the first time we went there..we actually went in and came out...coz we could not believe the place. It was waay down to earth...pretty shabby and full of the boarders..who i must say say were attired in lungis and sis was in her teens and my parents were a little wary on that..i was still a kid, actually pretty happy to see people sitting in their vests and lungis and amused by it ;). Then a family friend told us not to be put-off by the appearance but perhaps try out lunch?? and i will tell you we have never looked back! Now of-course it is very popular and tho crummy in appearance outside, it does not matter...but 20 yrs back, it was not the same story. Even now when i go to hyd, i make it a point to eat at-least 3-4 times there....coz it is really like ghar-ka-khana.

Now if anyone has read that loong story....and i must say thank-you...this lamba chauda post was that i was craving the food from there and so i went and pulled out the Tarla Dalal's Rajasthani Cookbook and made the dal banjari,bajra roti and shimla-mirch ki launji. It was really good...but of-course there was nobody who said..nahi nahi..aap aur lijeye na, bahut kam kha rahen hai..aur sabji lijiye.....those were the days :(

The recipes are from the book with my modifications in qty, so adjust to urs.


Shimla-Mirch ki launji

Bell Pepper - 1 cup (i used trio colors..wanted to use up the stock on hand)
Nigella Seeds (kalonji)- 1/2 tsp.
Fennel Seeds (saunf) - 1/2 tsp.
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp.
Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp.
Dhania Powder - 1 tsp.
Amchur - 1/2 tsp.
Sugar - 1 tsp.
Oil - 1 tsp.
Salt to taste.


1. In a pan heat the oil and add the fennel and nigella seeds.

2. Add the bell peppers,salt,chilli powder,dhania powder,turmeric powder and 1/2 cup of water and simmer till the peppers are cooked.

3. Stir in the amchur,sugar and cook till the sugar dissolves.

4.Cool this and bottle it. Stays in the fridge easily for 2-3 weeks.

Dal Banjari

This is a thick dal, but my version is watery as Jeeves pretends to choke and clutches his throat and does some drama when there is just a dry curry or the dal is too thick....i know...he thinks he is sooo funny!!!


Black Urad Dal - 1 cup
Chana Dal - 1/2 cup
Haldi -1/4 tsp.
Onions - 1 diced
Cloves,Red Chilli - 2
Cinnamon - 1 stick
Ginger-Green Chilly-Garlic Paste - 2 tsp.
Chilli powder - 1 tsp.
Salt - to taste
Ghee - 1 tsp.
Oil - 1 tsp.


1. Pressure cook the dal with turmeric for 4-5 whistles, till they are soft and well combined.

2. In a kadai, add the oil and ghee and fry the cloves,cinnamon and whole red chilli and onions, till browned.

3. Add the ginger-green chilli-garlic paste,red chilli powder and salt and mix well.

4. Add the pressure cooked dal and let it simmer for 5 -7 minutes.

5. Serve the dal hot, or it tends to get thick as it stands.


For launji - you can just use the green ones too..the recipe actually calls for the green one.

For dal - you can garnish the dal with cilantro leaves and ginger julinned...i was out of both :(

Both the above tasted absolutely great with bajra roti.


Indian Spiced Pizza

Pizza used to be our weekend food for a long time till it suddenly struck me that majority of cheese has animal rennet. it is one of those things you know..but sometimes does not hit you. Now the only time i can eat pizza is when i make it..and i always stock up on vegetarian mozzarella and freeze it and when i make pizza dough i make extra and freeze it too. So when Nandita announced left-overs for WBB i decided to make pizza as brunch instead of dinner.

What are the left-overs??..they were the leftover pizza dough from last time and my leftover marinara sauce that i make Indian style.

Here is the recipe.

The pizza dough is a straight lift-of from my recipe book 'Bread'. Unless one of you comes with a gun to my head..i am going to pass on posting the looong recipe of the dough

Here is the Indian marinara recipe - makes 16 oz jar.

Diced organic Tomato Can - 1 (12 oz)
Onion - 1/2 medium,diced
Garlic- 4 pods
Green Chilly - 4
Ginger - 2"
Jeera - 1 tsp.
Red Chilly powder - 1 tsp.
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp.
Kasoori methi - 1 tsp.
Salt -to taste
Oil- 1 tsp.

1. In a large pan, fry the onions,green chillies,garlic and ginger with one tsp of oil.
2. When the onions start to brown a little, add the tomatoes and cook till the the tomatoes get a little mushy.
3.Now, add the turmeric,red-chilly powder,salt and kasoori methi and let this cook for 5 mts.
4. Cool this mixture and puree this (chunky style)in a bender. Transfer into a large jar or two medium jars and use when needed.

Veggies for the pizza.

I wanted 5 veggies of different colors for the not ask me why..but i can be crazy sometimes.

Broccoli - 1 cup - floret ts
Red bell pepper - 1/2 cup - diced
Olives - 1/4 cup - sliced
Carrots - 1/2 cup - diced
Corn - 1 cup
Panch phoran - 2 tsp
Oil - 2 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp

Stir-fry all the above and cook till there is a bite to the broccoli.


Mozzarella - 6 oz (i got the one with vegetarian rennet)(i froze the balance cheese after cutting them in cubes)

Olive oil- 1 tsp.

Pizza Assembling.

1.Preheat oven to 450 F.
2.Brush the olive oil on the pan u r planning to make the pizza
3.Strech the darn pizza dough over ur pizza my case cookie sheet..( i had a pizza crisper..but i threw it out..that is another story ;)
4.Ladle some tomato sauce, the scatter the veggies..smother with the cheese blocks and cook for 15-17 mts.
5. When the pizza is done, cut them in wedges or squares and take the largest piece and pretend that u eat less than ur spouse ;) coz u had only 2 pcs...while he had 3!!

This is off to Nandita of the famous
Saffron Trail who is hosting the WBB this time around.....and sorry Nandita i am a day late....