Baked Tofu is one of the first few things I tried when I initially started using Tofu at home. Tofu is very much like Paneer except that it tastes blander than Paneer. Adding Soy sauce gives it an extra Oriental touch! Kids love to eat it as a snack! (so do we, of course!). Since Tofu is very versatile, feel free to add seasonings/spices to suit your taste. 

Ingredients - 

Extra firm Tofu Cubed 3 cups
Soy Sauce 2 Tbsp
Salt as per taste
Mirchi powder as per taste
Olive Oil 1 Tbsp

Method Of Preparation - 

In a Ziploc bag add the oil, soy sauce, salt, mirchi powder and the cubed tofu and zip it close.

Shake the bag well so that all the seasoning is well coated on all the cubes. Marinate them for about 5-10 min.

Meanwhile Preheat the oven at 400F and arrange these marinated tofu cubes on a foil lined cookie tray.

Bake them for about 25-30 min and broil for an additional 5 min to get a crisp texture.

Sending these cubes to 'Tasty Tofu Treats' hosted by PJ.

Serves 3-4 adults 
Preparation Time 30 min 

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Posted by Harini on Friday, April 30, 2010

I love the tradition of serving 'Guggillu', a simple mixture of soaked and boiled legumes, during festivals and as part of 'tamboolam' . It can not only be offered as a 'prasadam', but also be made as a timepass evening snack and served along with some 'garam' (hot) tea. Its rich nutritional profile is another reason to include it as part of your everyday diet. Each of the legumes used are excellent sources of protein, fiber and folate. Especially soy beans are considered to be an excellent substitute for meat because of its high protein content. It also is a rich source of iron, calcium and other essential minerals. In addition to the regular beans, I have added soya beans and some peanuts to make it more nutritious. A big bowl of this 'Guggillu' along with probably a fruit can be a meal in itself.

Ingredients -

1 Cup Senagalu (Kabuli Chana/Garbanzo Beans)
1/2 Cup Al, asandalu (Black-eyed beans/Bobbarlu)
1/4 Cup Pesalu (Whole Moong Dal)
1/4 Cup Soya Beans
1/4 Cup Peanuts (Pallilu)
(Soak all the above for about 8-10 hrs and cook them in a pressure cooker)
2-3 Green Chillies (chopped)
Ginger, a small piece (chopped)

Coriander Leaves and Pudina Leaves for garnishing
Oil 3 tsps
Seasoning (Mustard Seeds, Urad Dal, Cumin Seeds, Dry Red chillies, Curry Leaves)
Salt to taste

Method Of Preparation -

Heat the stove, pour oil in a pan and add all the seasoning ingredients one after another in the order listed. When the mustard seeds splutter and the dals turn slightly brown, add the green chillies and ginger and saute for a minute.

Now drain the water off the boiled legumes into a bowl (the water can be added to your dal/rasam/sambar) and add them to the above.

Add salt and mix it well and garnish it with a good amount of chopped Coriander and Pudina leaves.

Your protein rich snack is ready to be served with some hot tea. 

Note - You could optionally add some fresh grated coconut to enhance the taste.

Serves 4-5 adults

Preparation Time 10 mins (excluding soaking and Pressure cooking time)

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Ummagalli is one of the gems made by my maternal grandmother. Apparently she reminded Amma (my mom) the other day that this used be one of my favorites as a young child. When I called Amma last morning she mentioned to me that Ummagalli is something which I had forgotten for so many years and that it used to be my favorite. 


There are so many fond memories attached to Ummagalli. How could I ever forget it? I wonder..On so many summer nights, I used to pester my grandma to make this for me and like all grandmas, she always obliged much to my delight. In fact I think it was a favorite amongst all the kiddo gang at that time. So I had to make it today so my family could appreciate my taste :) Thanks to my Grandma and Amma I finally got to renew my taste buds .. This dish is therefore dedicated to both of them.

Ummagalli is traditionally prepared with Broken rice (Nookalu) with no veggies. But it can also be prepared with cracked wheat. And to add my own twist to it, I added some veggies. Today I prepared it with cracked wheat and I didn't even get a second serve... Needless to say this will always remain as one of my favorites.
Ummagalli therefore goes to the Mother Day's Event hosted by Jyoti of Panch pakwan.

Ingredients -

Cracked Wheat 1 cup
Water 4-5 cups
Mixed Vegetables (Carrots, Beans, Peas, Corn, Zucchini)
Tomato medium 1 (Cubed)
Tamarind Juice 2 Tbsp
Sambar Powder 1 tsp
Vangibath Powder 1 Tbsp (Optional)
Turmeric a pinch
Sugar/Brown Sugar 2 tsp (Optional)
Salt as per taste
Ghee and Coriander leaves for Garnish (Optional)
Seasoning (Oil/Ghee 2 tsp, Mustard seeds 1 tsp, Urad Dal 1 tsp, Chana Dal 1 tsp, Hing a pinch, Curry leaves)

Take another peek before you start making it:)


Method Of Preparation -

In a sauce pan , boil 4 cups of water and add the cracked wheat and let it cook for 8-9 min. It should be cooked and runny. If it is not runny water can be added.

In a separat skillet, add the seasoning and after the mustard seeds splutter, add turmeric and tomatoes and saute them until they are soft.

Meanwhile boil the rest of the veggies separately or in the same sauce pan as the tomatoes. I boiled them in a microwave separately.

After the tomatoes are cooked and mushy, add the rest of the boiled veggies and tamarind juice, Sambar Powder (I used MTR brand), Vangibath Powder, Sugar and Salt.

Mix them well and keep stirring it for 4-5 min letting all the flavors to intermingle.

The final product is a yummy tasting Ummagalli. It is traditionally a little runny suitable for old and young alike.

Serve this with Ghee and Papads for a delicious evening supper or a filling evening snack.

Note - Instead of Sambar Powder / Vangibath Powder, Bisibela Bath Powder can also be used..Shall post the recipe for that soon..

Serves 2 adults
Preparation Time 25 min

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Posted by Harini on Thursday, April 29, 2010

Pesarapappu payasam is one of the payasams made frequently for Naivedyam. Moong dal is very easily digestible and is fed to kids of all ages. Specially in hot summers, it is supposed to be a very good coolant and also a very good source of protein. So on a hot summer afternoon imagine the cold delicious payasam sliding down your throat!! what a divine pleasure...Don't you all agree?? All of you can enjoy this pleasure like we did the other day!!

Ingredients - 

Moong Dal / Pesarapappu 1 cup
Milk 4 cups
Jaggery 3/4 cup
MTR Badam Powder 1 Tbsp
Cardamom powder 1/2 tsp
Ghee 1 tsp
Cashews and Raisins for Garnish as required

Method Of Preparation - 

Roast moong dal(pesarapappu) in 1/2 tsp of ghee until golden brown. Also fry some cashews and raisins in ghee and keep them aside. 

Pressure cook moong dal in water / milk or a combination of milk and water.

After the moong dal is cooked well mash it either in a blender or with the back of a strong ladle. (We prefer it as is)

In a sauce pan, boil milk and add grated jaggery and the boiled moong dal. Bring it to a boil and add MTR Badam powder, cardamom powder.

Let it simmer for a few minutes until the kheer gets a creamy texture.

Garnish with the fried cashews and raisins and serve hot or cold.

Note - If the jaggery is hard to grate, add 2 tsp of water to the jaggery blocks and microwave it for a couple min (depending on the power of the microwave). It would liquify and therefore easy to pour in the kheer.
Also fresh badams(Almond) can be powdered and used instead of the MTR Badam powder.

This goes to the Thanda Mela hosted by Srivalli of cooking4allseasons .

Serves 6 adults

Preparation Time 25 min

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When I had my friends come over to my place, I had to think quick about what would be a good snack to serve them. My mom told me this simple pakodi recipe and I ventured to try it out on them. Except the fact that they have to be deep fried in oil, I thought this was a good way to have my son also consume all veggies in this way.

Ingredients -
3 Cups Vegetables (Carrots, Beans, Peas, Beetroot, Capsicum, Spinach, Cilantro, Curry leaves)
1 inch Ginger
3-4 Green Chillies
1 Cup Corn Flour
Water, a few drops if required
Oil for deep Frying

Method of Preparation -
Grind all the vegetables in a chopper along with Ginger and Green Chillies.

Mix the corn flour and vegetables well till they are well coated with the flour. If required, sprinkle a few drops of water.

Heat oil for deep frying and ensure that its hot. Make small patties out of the coated veggies and drop them slowly into the oil.

Now, reduce the heat to medium flame. Fry till they turn slightly golden brown and remove them into a plate covered with a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.

Some ketchup to dip and some hot tea alongside would be a heavenly combination.

Makes about 25 pakodis
Preparation time 10 mins
Frying time 25 mins

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Posted by Jaya on Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I was at my wits end to figure out a way to get some nutritious food into my kids' stomachs. They seem to be going through a phase where they dont want to eat anything healthy. So I thought I could make some tangy chapatis which they would eat with interest! And the green mango which I got the other day was so sour, that I decided that would be a perfect fit into the recipe. Mission Accomplished!!!

Ingredients -

Green Mango Grated 5 Tbsp
Carrot Grated 3 Tbsp
Palak (Spinach) finely chopped 3 Tbsp
Roasted Jeera Powder 1 tsp
Garam Masala 1/2 tsp (or as per taste)
Red chilli powder 1/4 tsp (or as per taste)
Oil 2 Tbsp
Salt as per taste
Whole Wheat Flour 2 cups
Salt as per taste
Curd or Water to Knead the dough

Method Of Preparation -

In a skillet heat a little oil and saute the grated green mango, grated carrot and finely chopped palak for a min or two.

Add salt, roasted jeera powder, garam masala and red chilli powder (or green chilli paste) and mix well.

In a mixing bowl, add the above mixture to the whole wheat flour and salt and knead well by adding curd or water to make a dough.

Divide the dough into 10 equal portions and roll out each one into a chapati and cook it on a hot griddle (Tava).

Serve hot with Yogurt/Curry or otherwise.

This goes to Anupama's Mango Moods Event. 

Makes approx. 10 chapatis

Preparation Time 40 min

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Broccoli rarely enters our house in spite of its high nutritional profile. Its smell puts off any interest in eating it but I found the method mentioned in this recipe is the only way to get this 'wonder' veggie into our diet. This time around after a long time, I had a craving for the Baked Broccoli and so here it is. Its very rich in Vitamins A, C and K. Also a very good source of Folate and other essential elements. 

Ingredients - 

Broccoli florets 2 cups
Chilli - Garlic Sauce 1/4 tsp (as per taste)
Yogurt/Curd 2 Tbsp

Method Of Preparation - 

In a bowl, mix curd and the chilli-garlic sauce and mix well.

Add the broccoli florets and coat all the florets with the curd mixture. Marinate it for about 5-10 min. (I was in a hurry so I did for 5 min. ).

Preheat the oven to 400 degree F.

In a greased oven proof tray, arrange the marinated florets in a single layer on the tray.

Bake for 28-30 min and serve it as Salad or Side Dish and enjoy!

Note - This chilli-garlic sauce was very hot for my taste so please take care to test individual heat-tolerance levels and use this.

Serves 2 adults
Preparation Time 5 min Baking Time 28-30 min

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Whenever I see Dill weed (Suva) in the local farmer's market, I get a strange sense of familiarity. I feel drawn towards this wonder weed(herb)!! So I googled on this weed and found so many interesting facts that I thought I should try making something with Dill. Thats when I saw a recipe called besan omlette in some blog (Sorry, I can't recollect which blog it was). Today I was scrambling in the kitchen to make some breakfast mentally going through the contents of the refrigerator. When I saw dill lying there to be experimented on, I thought of the eggless omlette and so I tweaked the original recipe by adding Dill in it. Here's how I made it..

Also one of my friends, makes rasam out of dill and she says that it is good for women during pregnancy and also postpartum. It has a very good anti-gas property and anti-colic, Also is a good source of Iron and Calcium. Tea made with dill seed is supposed to be insomnia reliever and a hiccup reliever. 

Ingredients - 

Chickpea flour / Besan 1 cup
Onion Finely Chopped 1/2 cup 
Dill Finely chopped 1/2 cup
Green chillies 1-2 (as per taste)
Jeera / Cumin seeds 1/4 tsp 
Carrot Grated 1/4 cup 
Tomato Finely chopped 1/4 cup
Salt to taste
Curd/Yogurt 1 cup
Hing / Asafoetida a pinch

Method Of Preparation - 

In a mixing bowl, add all the ingredients and a little water if needed to make a batter consistent with a dosa batter. Leave it aside for 7-10 min 

On a hot Tawa/Pan, take a ladleful of the batter and spread it to an agreeable thickness and spray some oil and let it brown.

Turn it over and take it out once it is cooked.

Serve it with tomato pickle or peanut chutney or coconut chutney.

Makes 8 omlettes
Preparation time  20 min 

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Posted by Harini on Sunday, April 25, 2010

I am so excited about this cake today as I had this in my mind for about 10 days now about baking without ovens and microwaves. My mom used to bake in my childhood in a stove top box oven and that was a great thing around there at that time. But how else?? The answer dawned on me today and so here I am with a steamed cake!! 

This whole process was triggered after I came across the announcement  of the no bake cake event by Aparna of apycooking. I decided to try out a simple cake with no frills and so this cake. Needless to say the cake was gone in 60 seconds!! I just grabbed a few wedges of oranges and some strawberry jelly and topped the cake. Next time I should try my hand at icing/decorating. I also noted that this was a very simple, no-nonsense procedure..So even the non-bakers, can jump right in and try this me you would be thrilled!!

Ingredients - 

All Purpose Flour 1 cup (a little less than 1 cup)
Banana , ripe and mashed 1
Olive Oil 2-3 tsp
Water 2-3 Tbsp
Baking Powder 2 tsp
Sugar 1/4 cup

Some more cute clicks..

Method Of Preparation - 

In a mixing bowl, sift the all purpose flour and baking powder. Add sugar to it and mix well.

In a separate bowl, blend mashed banana, oil and water. Slowly pour this mixture into the flour and mix well. (Don't whisk it hard)

Pour this mixture in a greased dish with a little flour dusting (I used a stainless steel bowl) and place it in a steamer. 

There are a few ways to steam it. 
1. In an idli cooker, pour water and place a steel container with the batter.
2. Place the dish with the batter in a water filled container of the electric rice cooker. 
3. Use the pressure cooker without the whistle (Weight) to steam. 

I used the 1st method.

Steam it for about 40-42 min. I opened to see whether it was done couple times. Once after 20 min and another time after 35 min. But it was done after 42 min.

Take the container out and let it cool for a couple min and then run a knife through the edges and tap the container all over and invert it onto a plate.

Decorate it (?) and enjoy!!

Note - To quicken the steaming process, maybe hot water can be poured instead of cold water.

Makes 7 cake wedges

Preparation Time 5 min Steaming Time 42 min

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Posted by Harini on Saturday, April 24, 2010

Updated - As promised I did try making jaangris yet again to get a perfect shape and I think I got the shape right this time around..But I think the decision is left for the experts to decide!! Here are the new pictures...

Jaangris have always been in the 'eat out/buy' or 'get them made' categories for me all these years. Every time we see jaangris in the local Indian stores, we keep drooling and turn our eyes on to the other side to avoid getting tempted to buy them yet again! I have heard my friends rant about how easy these were to prepare and how it is misconstrued as a very complicated delicacy etc etc..

Upon the insistence of my 'significant other', I decided to try and change my opinion. I adopted the recipe from and stuck to the recipe as is. And I am happy I decided to try it out. 

I found it a little difficult to get the typical jaangri shape but I managed to get some decent shape(?). My husband encouragingly said he doesn't care for the shape of the jaangris as long as they taste divine!! In some corner of my mind, I have doubts about it..Maybe I shall practice to get the shape right and probably update this post later next week. Apparently, to get the desired shape, the oil/ghee in which jaangris need to be fried, should not be very hot. Anyway for now, please enjoy the pictures I took of the delicious jaangris. I had to take the pictures in a hurry as folks here were getting restless to get a taste of those colorful jaangris!!

Ingredients - 
Urad Dal 1 cup
Sugar  2 cups
Rice 2 Tsp
Milk 2 tsp
Red color 1/2 tsp 

Oil/Ghee for deep frying

Method Of Preparation - 

Soak Urad dal and rice for about 2-3 hrs. Later Drain the water and make a fine paste adding as little water as possible.

In a ziploc cover, poke a small opening at the bottom of the cover with a hot nail and keep it ready. Alternatively a cone can be prepared with plastic/cloth.

In a separate sauce pan, add sugar and little water and boil the sugar solution to make a syrup of a single string consistency.

In a small bowl, add the red color to 2 tsp of milk and mix the color well and add it to the prepared sugar syrup.

In a wok/kadai heat oil/ghee in a medium flame and pour the urad batter into the prepared cone/zipoc cover.

Squeeze out the urad batter into the hot oil in circular pattern to get the required jaangri shape.

Fry them until they get a golden brown hue and gently slide them into the syrup.

Let them soak in the syrup for about 2-3 minutes (they should increase in size) and place them gently in a dry plate.

I am sending this to Nupur's Blog Bites - Copy Cat Edition.

Makes approx. 20 
Preparation Time 3 hrs Cooking time 45 min

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Posted by Harini on Friday, April 23, 2010

I was so tempted by the Pineapple Gojju by Suma of Veggieplatter , that I had to try it and taste it first hand. My folks at home were a little apprehensive to try it out but in the end they agreed that it was indeed a delicious gojju. Though it didn't turn out in the same color (because of the difference in the variety of Tamarind and Red Chillies, I guess) as the original recipe, we all liked the flavor and thought I should share it on our blog too..I have made slight variations to suit our taste.

Ingredients -
Pineapple chunks 1 cup
Tamarind juice 2 Tbsp
Salt as per taste
Brown sugar/Jaggery 1-2 tsp
Turmeric 2 pinches
Seasoning (Oil 2 tsp, Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp, Urad dal 1 tsp, Hing a pinch, Curry leaves )

Gojju Masala - 

Coconut Powder 4 Tbsp 
Chana Dal 2 Tbsp 
Urad Dal 1 Tbsp
Coriander Seeds 2 tsp
Cumin Seeds / Jeera 1 tsp
Sesame seeds 3 tsp
Methi Seeds pinch 
Dry Red Chillies 4-5

Method Of Preparation - 
Wash the pineapple and if using canned pineapple (as I did) , drain them and wash with cold water to remove the extra sweetness.

In a saute pan, add the seasoning and after the mustard seeds splutter, add the pineapple chunks and 1 cup of water.

Add Turmeric, Cover and let the pineapple cook.

Meanwhile, dry roast all the ingredients for the masala and grind them with a little water to make a fine paste. (Don't worry even if the paste turns  out a little coarse).

After the pineapple is cooked, add the masala paste, tamarind juice, salt and brown sugar and let it simmer for about 3-4 min. Check to see if the flavors feel right for your taste. (I did that out of nervousness!!:) )
Serve it over steaming rice and papads for a hearty meal!
Serves 4 adults

Preparation Time 25 min

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Posted by Harini on Thursday, April 22, 2010
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Raw Mangoes in Spring/early Summer are a treat for fans of mango pickles. I have nostalgic memories of eating sliced raw mangoes with salt and mirchi powder at the street hawker's stall near home..Yummy...Any way I have made some small changes to the traditional mango rice (Mamidikaya chitrannam or mamidikaya pulihora in Telugu). Raw mango is primarily rich in Vitamin C. A delightful rice to enjoy indeed!!

Ingredients -

Cooked rice 3 cups

Mango 1 medium (1 cup approx) Grated
Roasted Fenugreek powder 1 pinch
Turmeric  1/4 tsp
Green chillies 4-5 nos (vertically sliced)
Coriander leaves for garnish
Salt to taste
Seasoning (Oil 1 Tbsp, Chana Dal 2 tsp, Urad Dal 1 tsp, Mustard Seeds 1 tsp, Jeera 1/2 tsp, Dried Red Chili 1-2, Curry Leaves few, Peanuts handful)
Lemon/Lime juice 1-2 tsp (Optional or if the mango is not sour enough)

Method of Preparation - 

In a skillet on a medium-high flame, heat some oil add seasoning, peanuts and cashews. 

After the mustard seeds start crackling, add green chillies turmeric, roasted fenugreek powder and coconut powder.

Add salt and the grated mango. Mix for a couple of minutes.

Remove from the flame, add this mixture to a bowl with the cooked rice and mix well.

Squeeze the lemon juice if required.

Garnish with coriander leaves.

Serve hot.

This makes its way to Anupama's Mango Moods Event.

Serves 3 Adults
Preparation Time 25 min

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