Papaya Soy Smoothie

I started liking papaya around my 6th class and till then when my amma cut a papaya and wanted me to try...i usually ran from the scene. I had never really tasted papaya..but i just had decided that it would taste the change came about when papaya trees started to grow in our backyard. i think there is something in the fruits and veggies that grow in our property..there seems to be an additional sentiment and pride attached to them which makes them all the more delicious!

I was lucky to get these papayas at the Fruit and Veggie market i go to at-times. I saw that there were just a few papayas there...and i made a bee-line for them so that they do not run out, coz i wanted to participate in the event.

Here is a super easy and simple smoothie and you can easily substitute any juicy fruit for this.


Ripe papaya - 1 cup (diced)
Vanilla Soy milk - 1 cup (8 oz.)
Honey - 1 tsp. (can use sugar too)
Protein Powder - 1 tsp. (optional)- i used vanilla flavor


1. Dice the papaya, place in a zip-lock bag and freeze it for about 4-5 hours.

2. In a blender, add the milk,papaya,protein powder and honey and run the blender on high for a few minutes.

3. When done..drink this up or do what i did..freeze a portion of it and eat it like a slushy.


1. People who do not like the papaya smell..will not get even a hint of it..due to the vanilla.

2. You can sub plain soy milk or just milk for this.

3. Protein powder adds an extra boost of protein and keeps you full longer..but this can be easily ommited.

This is off to Nags who blogs at For the cook in me and who is hosting AFAM- Papaya .
I am also including this entry for the WBB- Soy which is currently hosted by me..

Just a heads-up...The last day for submission to WBB-Soy is tomorrow.


Beans Thoran

I love chena or chenai (is what we call at home)mezhukkupuratti and my only condition is it should be really well cooked and should not have a bit of firmness to it...but should not be mashed in appearance. I can easily demolish quite a lot of this vegetable made this way. Jeeves, is not too much of a fan of this i usually make it when he is on trips and i am left to my own devices for cooking. I know cooking for one is boring, coz i have yet to master cooking for 1..but i have realised it is the only time i can make dishes and veggies i enjoy..without making two of em! why is this loong story!been told when i have written beans thoran as the recipe??...actually chenai what i made for RCI..but i forgot about it on the stove when i was outside with the snow i made another fav and easy recipe of mine...beans thoran! is impossible for anyone to goof-this is made super fast!!


Green Beans - 2 cups (diced).
Coconut - 1/2 cup (grated, i used the powdered one).
Green Chilly -2
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp.
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp.
Urad Dal - 1/4 tsp.
Chana Dal - 1/4 tsp.
Salt to taste
Oil - 1 tsp.


1. In a pan, add oil and allow it to heat. Add in the mustard seeds, then the urad dal,chana dal and the red chilly. When they change color, add in the green beans and 1/2 a cup of water with turmeric and reqd salt.

2. Meanwhile grind the green chilly and the coconut to a coarse paste with minimim water

2. After 10-12 minutes, the green beans are cooked...then make sure all the water is evaporated then...add the coconut-green chilly paste. Cook the dish for a few more minutes till all moisture is evaporated.

This tastes great with sambaar or rasam...with papadam :)

This is my submission to Jyothsna who blogs at Curry Bazaar and is hosting RCI-Kerala.
Thank you so much Jyotsna for entertaining my late entry..


Creamy Carrot and Leek Soup.

I have been off soups for a while, as i was just not getting them to the texture i wanted and then a lot of veggies and time was getting wasted, as these were dumped unceremoniously in the sink...i know..wasting food :(..but i cannot eat badly prepared food. But, after seeing all the soups in the blogosphere, i have been inspired to make soup thanks everybody!
I have a huge packet of carrot..correction..2 huge packets of carrots..coz during the carrot purchase time, i was dreaming of salads and juices i got a little greedy as usual and bought more than i can use. It was time to use these babies up is the recipe. It is creamy and the texture and consistency was just the way i like..and not too fattening too...


Carrots - 4, medium (around 250 gms)- diced
Leeks - 2, medium (white and light green parts - wash well) - sliced
Potato - 1 (100 gms) - diced
Milk - 1 cup (used 1%)
Jalapeno - 1,medium
Garlic - 4, small cloves
Ginger - small knob
Olive oil - 1 tbls
Pepper - few twists
Kasoori methi - 1 tbls.
Salt - to taste
Water - 3 1/2 cups


1. Heat a tbls of oil in a wide pan and when it warms, add the jalapeno,garlic and ginger. Let it cook for a couple of minutes, then add in the leeks,potatoes and carrots and saute for a few minutes till it is slightly roasted (to let flavors develop..but not burn) then add 3 cups of water. Add salt and cook the veggies in medium-low flame till the carrots are softened.

2. When the carrots are cooked, transfer to a blender and blend till smooth and creamy.

3. Add the above mixture to the pan, add a cup of milk,twists of pepper,half a cup of water and let it simmer for a couple of minutes.

4. Switch of the gas and sprinkle kassori methi, spoon it to a big bowl and enjoy.

Note: This soup is really creamy, and the small addition of potato makes a great addition to the creaminess of the soup. If you are not interested in adding the potato, omit it...but the soup will not be creamy, as the carrots do not have enough body. You can make a roux instead.

This is off to Pooja who blogs at My creative ideas and who is hosting 'The theme of the week'.

Happy Republic Day everybody!!


Soy Semiya Upma

It is funny that what we at times disliked as kids..tend to change. I used to hate..yes hate used to make me so mad when my mother made it..but my sister was overjoyed as it is her favorite. I would eat bread and jam but would not touch it. Then we were invited by my singing teacher to her grahapravesam and for breakfast they served us ...upma!..horrers!! i was forced to eat it then and i fell in love with it. I think my mom was a bit insulted..but quickly got over it..and honestly for a whole yr, no i am not kidding..i had upma after school!! semia and much so that my mom stopped eating upma for a she was sick of making it!

I have been trying to eat healthy and knowing my success rate from the past i have decided i am not going on a restrictive diet..instead modify it and add healthy elements to what i when i decided to make my fav. semia upma..i have tried to give it a healthy boost by adding soy-granules. If you are like me and not a huge fan of soy-chunks (should i be saying this ;)..(but now i am slowly changing and not turning my face when i taste one :D.) will still like it completely blends with the dish and you will not even get to taste it. So here is the recipe...


Semia - 1 cup (roasted, you get this pre-roasted in the store)
Soy granules - 1/3 cup
Water - 2 1/2 cups ( you have to adjust accordingly, this is just a guesstimate)
Vegetables - 1 cup, diced(used carrots,peas and green beans)
Onion - 1 medium (yes, it is a veggie..but deserves a separate entry ;)
Green Chilly - 2 , slit
Ginger - a small knob,diced
Oil - 2 tsp.
Ghee - 1 tsp.
Curry leaves - few, torn by hand.
Mustard seeds,Urad dal and Chana dal - 1 tsp. each.
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp.
Salt - to taste


1. Add oil in a pan and add mustard seeds in it. When it splutters, add the urad and chana dal to it. Meanwhile soak the soy granules in warm water and keep aside.

2. When the dals change color, add in the onions with 1/4 tsp. of salt and saute till the onions get soft, but do not burn. (i add the salt with the onions, as we are using very little oil and the salt draws out the moisture from the onions and makes it go longer in the pan without burning)

3. Add the veggies when the onions are soft, add some more salt, turmeric powder and 1/2 cup of water and cook on medium-low till the veggies are soft.

4. Test the veggies to make sure that they are cooked then...add the remaining water, salt to taste, curry leaves and let the water come to a good boil. Then lower the flame, add in the say-granules( squeeze the water out) and the semia and cook it in medium flame till the semia plumps. The soy takes no time to they are really tiny and soaked very well.

5. When the consistency is thick..but no too thick, as moisture keeps getting absorbed, add the ghee to the semia and give it a final stir and switch off the gas.

6. You can eat with hot or cool it in the fridge and eat with with yogurt and pickle. I ate mine with tomato chutney.


1. To add more protein content, i have also used edamame in the past in place of peas.

2. I think the final tsp. of ghee adds a lot to the aroma of the dish.

3. If you love chunks,you can easily add it in place of granules.

This is my submission to WBB- Soy and currently hosted by moi :)


Veggie Puffs

It was few days back and i was blog hopping when i saw these in one of my favorite blogger's site. I do not eat eggs...but it got me salivating! Then Mansi annouced the game night event and i was really waiting for an excuse to make i jumped up at the opportunity ...all in the name of participation ;).
I love puffs..but i was honestly fed-up of potato filling (could be because..i was on potato overload ;)...actually let me be honest..i had tons of veggies in my fridge and boy! was i feeling guilty about not using i decided to make these without the ever-faithful tatoes :( here is the recipe


Cauliflower - 200 gms.
Carrots : 200 gms
Peas - 2/3 cup
Red Onion - 1 small (diced)
Garlic - 1 large pod (grated)
Jalepeno - 1 medium ( diced very fine)
Cumin - 1 tsp.
Garam Masala powder - 1 tsp.
Oil - 1 tsp.
Kasoori methi - 1 tsp.
Salt - as needed.
Puff pastry sheet - 1 ( thinned out a bit with a rolling pin)


1. Boil the cauliflower,carrot and peas with salt till soft.Great if they mush up a little.

2. In a pan, heat the oil and add the cumin, garlic, jalepeno and onions and fry lightly. Now add the mushed veggies,garam masala powder and cook for a few minutes till the moisture evaporates.

3. Then switch off the gas, add the kasuri methi to the sabji above and move the sabji to a plate to cool.

4. Meanwhile, thaw the pastry for 40 minutes on the counter or as per the instructions in the box.

5. Lightly flour the counter and place the pastry on top and slowly unfold it. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 400 F.

6. Now lightly flatten it with a rolling pin so as to remove the creases and thin out the pastry a wee bit.

7. Divide the sheet to 8 parts and keep a little bowl of water ready on the side to close the edges.

8. Now, put a couple of spoons of curry in the puff and seal the edges using the water.

9. Bake the puffs for 20 mts till they are golden brown.

I served these with a chickpeas salad, as i would get hungry within an hour eating a pure carb laden dinner ;)

These puffs can be made ahead of time and can be warmed in a 350F oven for 5-7 minutes before guests arrive...or you can assemble all the puffs (do not bake),wrap them individually in parchment paper and freeze them. On the day of the party, pop these in the oven and bake them at 400 F for 30-35 minutes. When you are doing the second not let the puffs thaw..just straight from the freezer to the oven.

This is off to Mansi of Fun and Food and who is hosting Game night party recipes.


Onion Sambhar

Onion sambhar,alu podimas and beans thoran were our alternate weekly Sunday menu. And all of us would look fwd to it with gusto..and if amma skipped this for more than two weeks..she would be reminded from Thursday that Sunday..she needs to make this.
Usually sambhar is 'podi-podathu' or 'arachuviadathu'. The earlier one was with dried sambhar powder..but at my place we loved the second one..which had coconut in it. Actually compared to many south-indian homes sambhar was not a regular at my place..i think my mother made it once or twice a week it was eaten with gusto.
Anyway enough of my gab and let me go to the recipe...


Toor Dal - 1 1/2 cups (cooked).
Tamarind - golf ball sized, soaked in hot water and pulp extracted.
Onions - 3 large, sliced.
Sambhar powder - 1 tsp. (if you do not have sambhar powder, use 1/2 tsp. of red chilly powder).
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp.
Oil - 1 tbls.
Salt - as needed.

Toast and grind:

Oil - 1 tsp.
Red Chillies (whole) - 4 to 6.
Methi seeds - 1/4 tsp.
Whole Coriander seeds - 1 tbls.
Urad dal - 2 tsp.
Coconut - 1 cup (grated), you can used 1/2 a cup too
Chana dal - 2 tsp.


Oil - 1 tsp.
Mustard Seeds - 1 tbls
Curry leaves - 6-8,roughly torn.


1. Soak the tamarind in hot water for 1/2 a hour and take out the juice. It should equal around 3 large cups.

2. Pressure cook the dal and keep it aside to cool. It should be well cooked and should be mushable (is that a word ;)

3. Slice the onions and keep aside. In a large kadhai, heat 1 tbls of oil and in medium heat fry the onions till they are completely cooked and translucent. They should not get brown.

4. When the onions are cooked, add the tamarind water,turmeric,sambhar powder and cook in medium heat till the raw smell of tamarind dissapears.

5. Meanwhile in a pan, toast all the ingredients listed under 'toast' except the coconut till the dal changes color. Then add the coconut remove from heat and stir the mixture for a few more minutes till the coconut is lightly toasted thru the heat.

6. Now grind the above to a smooth paste. Mix it with the cooked dal and stir well so that the mixture is amalgamated.

7. Add the above mixture to the onions cooking in tamarind, add the salt and cook for 5 to 7 minutes in medium heat till you get it to the consistency you want.

8. Take the sambhar off the heat and do tadka with rai and curry leaves.

This is off to Radhika of Radhi's kitchen who hosting JFI-Onions.


Paneer in hot garlic sauce

I love garlic and it always amazes me to the amount i use in my food. The reason i am amazed is my mother never has or will use garlic in her cooking. I remember my sis and me going crazy and adding tons of garlic in our cooking when my parents would go out of town sometimes leaving us for a day or when they would go to attend a wedding and we could cook at home. We would first beg my amma that she allow us to use garlic in her that would mean crying, whining and cribbing..yep! it was that hard to get her to relent ;) and relent she would :D. Then the day would sis would cut all the veggies and prepare some great food and go ballistic with garlic...when my parents would come home..their heads would be reeling ;)

When Sunita announced the spice for the month and it was garlic..i knew it would be really easy to prepare and really no thinking ;) We were in the mood for Chinese and i wanted a departure from the manchurian saga and so decided to make paneer in hot garlic sauce. The original recipe asked for Tofu...but i had only baked i made this with paneer.

I got this recipe from Nita Mehta's Vegetarian Chinese. As usual i made changes and subbed or deleted things i did not have on hand..feel free to do the same.


200 gms paneer - cut in cubes and soaked in warm water (if using not soak)
Peanut oil - 2 tbls
Garlic - 1 whole head (about 20-25 cloves)
Red Chilly flakes - 1 tsp. (u can use 2 dried red chillies,broken to bits)
Chilli paste - 1 tbls
Ketchup - 4 tbls (i used maggie hot and sweet...yum!)
Soy sauce - 2 tbls
Rice-wine vinegar - 2 tbls
Pepper - 1/2 tbls
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Bell pepper - 1 cup (diced small)
Water - 1 cup
Cornflour - 2 tbls + 1/2 cup water
Spring Onions - for garnish (optional)


1. Mash the garlic with mortal and pestle. It should get to a smooth paste. Add about 1/4 tsp. of salt to ease the process of mashing.

2. In a wok or large pan, add 2tbls of oil, saute the garlic and the red chilly flakes.

3. When the garlic changes color, add in the red chilly paste,soy sauce, ketchup,pepper and salt. Cook this for a few minutes in medium heat. Then add the vinegar and bell peppers and cook for a couple more minutes. Then add a cup of water.

4. When the water comes to a boil, reduce heat and add the cornflour mixed with 1/2 cup of water, increase the heat to medium and let the whole mix come to a boil and thicken up.

5. Add the paneer (that has been soaking in warm water) by squeezing it gently and let the gravy simmer for 2-3 minutes.

6. Take it off heat and sprinkle spring onion greens if you have any on hand. (I did not have them on sure u all guessed it whilst looking at the photo!)

7. I would serve this with chinese fried rice. I served these with noodles...i don't think the gravy hit the spot with the noodles.


1. Do not add too much salt thru the cooking process, as the soy sauce has enough.

This is off to the talented lady who mesmerises me with her posts, photos and food! Sunita who blogs at Sunita's world and is hosting Think Spice - Garlic.


Chocolatey Orange Muffins

This is the story of my life. I get excited about things..jump in with gusto and leave it hanging after a while. I have made these muffins atleast 3 weeks back..uploaded the photos to the blogger..but waay too lazy to type the post. It is b'coz i truely suck at typing and then i am bored to correct my nad to and ..hte to the..u get it right ;)
This is definately the first year i have not made any resolutions..seriously..i never seem to do anything i let me see if i do anything productive without planning for it..this way at the end of the year..i do not have to look back and say damn!!..what have i acheived..instead on dec 31st 2008..i can look back and say pretty good!....u did what you have put ur mind to..:D

These muffins are absolutey yummilicious..yikes! getting to be like RR..i hope never...but these are good :)


All purpose flour- 1 cup.
Brown sugar - 1/2 cup.
Cocoa powder - 1 tbls.
Baking soda and powder - 1/2 tsp.
Salt - 1/4 tsp.
Oil - 1/4 cup (use flavorless oil)
Orange zest - 1 tbls (make sure no white part comes) (this is optional)
Orange extract - 1 tsp.
Flax meal - 1 tbls
Soy milk - 1/2 cup
Chocolate chips - 1/2 cup + 2tbls


1. Preheat oven to 375 F.

2. Whisk the flax meal with the milk till frothy and keep aside. Reserve the 2 tbls chocolate chips for later

3. Mix all the above ingredients well...then add in the flax-milk mix and sir well to make a smooth batter.

4. Pour the batter in muffin tins which have been sprayed with oil-free cooking spray and sprinkle the reserved 2tbls chocolate chips on top.

5. Bake these for 30 mts. Cool them on a wire rack and stuff your face ;)

This is off to Deepz of Letz Cook who is hosting JFI - Chocolate and to Bindiya who is In love with food and is hosting your favorite things -chocolate


WBB - Announcement is that time of the month where you smart, dynamic, intelligent, charming, cool, hip, talented, smart..did i say smart twice...oops...have to put your georgeous, pretty, braniac heads and come with with a recipe or recipes for a theme. This event was started by Nandita and this time it is my chance to host :)

Before i go to the theme..i have to be honest..i suck at computers..seriously.. i only know word,powerpoint and excel. I went in for some computer courses in India and did not even bother going in for results...u can guess why ;) please give the photos to me in the size i request...and i will keep my trap shut and do the needful..if you shove a size on me and tell me to deal with it..i will bug you nonstop to send me the right size or put in ur entry without the photo of ur lovely dish...why would you want me to do it huh! please cooperate!!

Here is the theme for this month. It is SOY and its BY-PRODUCTS!! now..before you guys run away... think about have soy beans,soy flour, soy nuggets,tofu,soy milk,tempeh, soy products - for example boca burger etc.., i missing anything else?? get the point right..anything with soy. Really !!it is good for you....i will not bore you with the benefits...but you can read it here . If you want to delve deeper here is another link

Now the fun part - Rules.

1. Send entries by 31st Jan.
2. Send the entries to
3. Put in WBB in the subject of your entry.
4. Send the entry with your name, name of your blog, link of your dish and photo link.
5. The photo sent should be sized to 75*75..
6. Link back to this post in your entry so that the ends are tied up.
7. People who do not have a blog but want to participate..please send me all the info by email and i will be happy to add it in the round-up...

Hope all of you can participate and yeah yeah..go on and submit more than probs..just don't go loco with 5 - 6 recipes....and i forgot to say Happy 2008 :)