Grilled Paneer Sandwich

Day 3 Week 4 of BM #52 - 

If you are thinking it is very similar to the Grilled Cheese Sandwich, I would urge you to think again. There is hardly any resemblance between the two. This version of sandwich had a burst of flavors from the paneer, jalapeno and the coriander leaves. 

My husband commented that it is fit for a kid's party if the jalapeno is taken off.

Grilled Paneer Sandwich

Recipe Source Vaishali
Ingredients - 

Bread slices 2
Paneer, grated or crumbled 3 Tbsp
Jalapeno, minced 1 tsp or to taste
Red Bell Pepper, finely chopped 1 tsp
Coriander Leaves, finely chopped 1 Tbsp
Salt and Butter as needed

Grilled Paneer Sandwich

Method Of Preparation -

In a mixing bowl, add grated paneer, minced jalapeno, finely chopped red bell pepper, coriander leaves and salt. toss them gently and set aside.

Butter both the slices of bread on both sides, spread the paneer mixture on one slice of the bread and top it off with another slice and grill/toast until crisp.

Serve it with ketchup for a filling breakfast/snack.

Preparation Time 15 min
Makes 1

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Baked Chakli

Day 2 Week 4 BM #52 - 

Here is another bookmark which is close to my heart. I could munch these with very little guilt and enjoyed every bite. I can't say the same for my better half. He cannot enjoy these traditionally fried stuff in the baked avatar. 

So it was up to me and the kids to enjoy the whole batch of chaklis! Thanks to Suma of Vegieplatter to give me the nudge to try these out.

Ingredients - 

Rice Flour 2 cups
Dalia/Putnalu Powder 1/2 cup (I used Besan/chickpea flour)
Urad Dal Powder 2 Tbsp
Salt (1 1/2 tsp) and Red Chili Powder (1/2 tsp) or as needed
Sesame Seeds 2 Tbsp
Asafoetida a few pinches
Hot Oil 3-4 Tbsp
Water to knead

Baked Chakli

Method Of Preparation -

Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Rub in hot oil and mix well.

Knead into a soft dough adding as much water as needed.

Prepare a baking tray by greasing and lining with a parchment paper.

Fill in the chakli press with the dough and make small spirals on the prepared sheet. Make sure they are placed a little apart from each other.

Preheat the oven to 325 °F. Spray oil on each of the chaklis and bake for 20 minutes on one side and then flip them over. Spray oil again and bake until they turn a golden brown and crisp up (another 18-20 minutes).

Let them cool and store in an air tight container.

Preparation Time 25 min + Baking time 40 min
Makes about 40 1-inch mini chaklis

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Baked Tindora

Day 1 Week 4 of BM #52 - 
This week, I shall be posting some bookmarks from my fellow BMers. Baking tindora was an idea given by Suma of Veggieplatter when she mentioned about all the veggies that she bakes at home.

We found that there is hardly a difference between the pan fried and the baked versions. My family and friends certified it :).

Ingredients - 

Tindora / Dondakaya 1 lb
Salt and Red Chili Powder as needed
Oil 1 Tbsp

Method Of Preparation -

Wash and discard the ends of the tindora. Slit them vertically and collect them in a mixing bowl.

Sprinkle oil, salt and red chili powder and toss so that it is mixed evenly.

Preheat the oven to 375 °F. Prepare a baking tray lined with parchment paper.

Arrange the tindora on the prepared baking tray in a single layer.

Bake in the center rack for 25-30 minutes tossing them every 10 minutes for even baking.

They turn crisp but keep an eye during the last 8-10 minutes.

Remove and serve them hot as a side to Rice and Dal.

Preparation Time 15 min + Baking Time 30 min
Makes 1 1/2 cups

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Posted by Harini R on Sunday, May 24, 2015

Green Peas Sundal

Day 3 Week 3 of BM #52 - 

Another prasadam usually distributed in temples across South India is Sundal or Guggillu as we call in my native tongue. Sundal can be made with any Bean variety. Here I chose to go with the dried peas.

It makes for a nice and nutritious snack as well.

Green Peas Sundal

Ingredients - 

*Dried Peas 1 cup
Salt, Turmeric, Green Chilies, Grated Coconut as needed
Lemon/Lime Juice as needed
Seasoning (Oil 1 tsp, Mustard Seeds 1/2 tsp, Chana Dal 1 tsp, Urad Dal 1/2 tsp, Cumin Seeds 1/4 tsp, Asafoetida 2 pinches, Curry Leaves few)

*Fresh Green Peas can be used as well. In which case soaking and pressure cooking can be avoided.

Green Peas Sundal

Method Of Preparation -

Soak the dried peas for about 4-5 hours. Drain and pressure cook with adequate water. Make sure they are not totally mushed up. We want that the peas retain their shape. Cook on the stove top instead (if preferred).

In a heated pan, add oil and the rest of the seasoning ingredients. After the mustard seeds pop and the dals are brown, add the chopped green chilies, turmeric and the cooked peas.

Sprinkle salt and grated coconut and mix well.

Remove from heat and squeeze in the lime/lemon juice.

Offer to the Lord and enjoy.

Preparation Time 25 min
Makes approx 1 cup

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Posted by Harini R on Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Temple Pulihora ~ Kovil Puliyodarai

Day 2 Week 3 of BM #52 - 

One of the first thoughts that cross my mind when visiting any temple is, 'we should get pulihora on our way out'. I always feel that the taste in any temple pulihora is different from what I  make at home.

The reasons might be many but the primary one as per me is it has been offered to the Lord and secondly, the use of sesame oil changes the flavor unbelievably. I am definitely going to use sesame oil for pulihora henceforth.

Ingredients - 

Rice 2 cups
Tamarind, Mini Golf Size portion
Turmeric 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Seasoning (Sesame Oil 2-3 Tbsp, Mustard Seeds  tsp, Chana Dal 2 tsp, Urad Dal 1 tsp, Peanuts handful, Cumin Seeds 1/2 tsp, Asafoetida 1/4 tsp, Curry leaves few, Red Chilies 2-3)
To Roast and Grind - 
Sesame Oil 1/2 tsp
Chana Dal 1 1/2 Tbsp
Urad Dal 1 Tbsp
Coriander Seeds 1 tsp
Fenugreek Seeds 1/2 tsp
Coconut Powder 1 tsp
Sesame Seeds 1 Tbsp
Red Chilies 3-4

Temple Pulihora ~ Kovil Puliyodarai

Method Of Preparation -

Soak tamarind in hot water for about an hour.

Cook Rice so that each grain of rice is separate. Fluff and spread the cooked rice in a wide bowl/tray.

In a heated pan, add sesame oil and roast chana dal, urad dal, coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, sesame seeds, red chilies and coconut powder separately. Cool and grind finely and set aside.

Extract the tamarind juice without the seeds, pith and strings and set aside.

In a pan, heat sesame oil and add in the seasoning ingredients. After they are all browned well, add in the turmeric and tamarind extract.

Let the tamarind extract cook well and become a little thicker. Add salt and it is ready to be mixed into the cooked rice.

Sprinkle about a teaspoon of sesame oil onto the rice along with some more turmeric and mix well. To this add the tamarind mixture and make sure every grain of rice is coated with the tamarind mixture.

Sprinkle the roasted and ground powder on top and mix gently so as not to bruise the rice grains.

Let the rice rest for an hour or so so the flavors blend in well.

Offer to the Lord and enjoy!

Preparation Time 1 hour + Resting Time 1 hour

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Posted by Harini R on Monday, May 18, 2015

Tirupati Urad Pepper Vada

Day 1 Week 3 BM #52 - 

This week I shall showcase some famous temple prasadams (offering to the Lord) as part of the Blogging Marathon

Don't we all feel that the Prasadam from whichever temple it is, is always delicious and tempting? 

My earliest recollection of visiting Tirupati is with my parents when I was about about 8 years old. I remember how my brother and I used to grab the crunchy 'black' vada and Laddu after the Darshan. It has been a couple decades since I visited the temple. I heard lot of changes and improvements have been made regarding the facilities for the pilgrims. But the taste of the vada and laddu are distinctly unique and much the same.

I always used to wonder how the 'black' vada was made. Subsequently I came to know the ingredients used to make these vadas and was surprised at the simplicity of the ingredients. Apparently these vadas are also made for Lord Hanuman but the urad dal is the skinned variety.

Ingredients - 

Whole Urad Dal (Black) 1/2 cup
Pepper Powder 1/2 tsp
Salt as needed (I added 1/2 tsp)
Oil for deep frying

Tirupati Urad Pepper Vada

Method Of Preparation -

Soak Urad Dal for about 6-8 hours and drain. 

Grind it with very minimal water to a coarse paste.

Add pepper powder and salt and mix well.

Heat oil in a frying pan/kadai. Reduce heat to medium to low.

On greased plastic sheet, pinch a lime sized portion of the urad paste, flatten it using your fingers to make a 2 inch diameter disc. 

When the oil is hot, gently slide the disc into the hot oil and fry 2-3 of them together (depending on how big the pan is and how much oil has been used). 

Fry on both sides until they are crisp. Remove using a slotted ladle on to kitchen paper towels to drain excess oil. 

They can be stored for a few days in an air tight container.

Preparation Time 30 min (excluding the soaking and grinding time)
Makes 9

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Posted by Harini R on Sunday, May 17, 2015

Mashed Potatoes

Day 3 Week 2 of BM #52 -

Is there any kid out there who is not fond of potatoes? I don't see anyone raising their hands. I usually have a tough time telling my kids to avoid eating potatoes everyday. So when I told my older one if she would like to have mashed potatoes as part of her after school snack, she looked at me and said "What kind of a question is that? How can I ever say no to that? Whatever are you thinking?" That says it all. 

Usually my older one makes mashed potatoes for herself adding as many seasonings as she fancies on that particular day. But she told me this combination was her favorite. So I made it to suit her taste and she thoroughly enjoyed having it for a snack. Not to forget the little one who enjoyed just as much!

Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients - 

Potatoes, 2 large ones
Butter 1 Tbsp
Garlic, grated 2 cloves
Onion Powder as needed (Optional)
Half n Half Milk 1/4 cup (Replace it with cream or milk)
Salt, Pepper, Basil to taste

Mashed Potatoes

Method Of Preparation -

Boil potatoes until tender and peel. Mash them finely adding unsalted butter, grated garlic and onion powder.

Mix in salt, pepper and basil as per taste. Add the milk a tablespoon at a time and keep whipping. 

Adjust the milk to get the creamy texture and enjoy!

Mashed Potatoes

Also sending it to Srivalli's "Kid's Delight - Creamy Foods" hosted by Chef Mireille.

Preparation Time 20 min
Makes 1 1/2 cups

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Posted by Harini R on Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Pumpkin - Lotus Seed Soup

Day 2 Week 2 BM #52 - 
Here is a creamy and delicious soup which has been approved by my kids. 

We have tried garnishing it with roasted lotus seeds and they add a different dimension. Addition of heavy cream / milk adds to the richness and creaminess of the soup adding more calories as well :)

Inspiration from here
Ingredients - 

Pumpkin, peeled, cubed 1 1/2 cups
Lotus Seeds/Phool Makhana 1/2 cup
Tomato, chopped 1/2 cup
Garlic pods 1-2
Cloves 3, powdered
Cinnamon Powder a pinch 
Cardamom Powder 1/4 tsp
Salt and Pepper as needed
Oil 2 tsp

Method Of Preparation -

Heat a teaspoon of oil in a pan, roast the lotus seeds until they are crisp. Set aside.

In a pressure cooker or a stock pot, add the pumpkin cubes, roasted lotus seeds, tomato, salt, grated garlic, clove, cinnamon and cardamom powders. 

Add in about 4 cups of water and cook until the pumpkin cubes are tender. 

After the pressure cooker cools, blend the mixture until a creamy consistency is achieved and heat further if needed.

I garnished it with blanched almonds and coriander leaves.

Preparation Time 30 min 
Makes 4-5 cups

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Posted by Harini R on Monday, May 11, 2015

Carrot Semiya Payasam
Day 1 Week 2 BM #52 - 

This week I have chosen to highlight some creamy foods which are kid approved.

Here is a classic kheer which I make at home and the kids love the color and taste. So when they are bored of the plain Semiya Payasam I make this 'orange payasam' in my little one's words.

Ingredients - 

Carrot, peeled and chopped 1 cup
Milk 4 cups
Sugar 1/2 cup + more if preferred
Semiya / Vermicelli 1/2 cup
Nuts and Raisins sauteed in Ghee as needed
Cardamom Powder 1/2 tsp

Carrot Semiya Payasam

Method Of Preparation -

Pressure cook the carrots in a cup of milk and blend into a smooth puree.

Boil the remaining milk add the semiya and cook until tender.

Add in the carrot puree, sugar and cardamom powder.

After the mixture thickens a little, add the sauteed nuts and raisins. Remove from heat and serve warm or chilled.

Preparation Time 30 min
Makes 4 cups

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Cold Cucumber Soup

Day 3 Week 1 of BM #52 - 

Summers in India reminds me of our childhood summers when we used to flock around the street hawker who had cucumber and mango slices with salt and Chili powder. Cucumbers were not a great favorite then but we relish them now :)

I was looking for spring/summer recipes online when I spotted an array of cold soups. I saw that this cold cucumber soup was very popular in many places and felt it is close to our very own Cucumber raitha in a different avatar.

But the taste beat our expectations. It got a A+++ rating from my family.

Ingredients - 

Yogurt, 3/4 cup
Cucumber, chopped 1 cup
*Mint leaves fresh, chopped 3 Tbsp 
Coriander leaves few
Cumin Powder 1/4 tsp
Lime/Lemon Juice as needed
Salt and Pepper as needed

I used 1 tsp of dried mint and 1/4 tsp of store bought mint chutney.

Cold Cucumber Soup

Method Of Preparation -

Blend all the ingredients except salt, pepper and lime juice into a smooth mixture.

Add salt, pepper and lime juice as needed and refrigerate atleast for an hour for the flavors to blend in.

Serve it cold on a hot day. 

Preparation Time 10 min + Cooling Time  hour
Makes approx 1 cup

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Posted by Harini R on Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Eggless Summer Strawberry Cake

For Week 1 Day 2 of BM #52, here is a classic summer cake. The fresh strawberries which I bought were extremely sweet and lent a distinct flavor to the cake.

Unfortunately the pictures didn't come out good and by the time I realized about the pictures, the cake was gone :). So I might have to bake the cake again on popular demand.

Eggless Summer Strawberry Cake

Adapted from here
Ingredients - 

Whole Wheat White Flour 1 cup
All Purpose Flour / Maida 1/2 cup
Salt 1/2 tsp
Baking Powder 1 1/2 tsp
Butter 5 Tbsp at room temperature
*Sugar, Powdered 1 cup (I used a little more than 3/4 cup)
Yogurt 4 Tbsp
Milk 1/2 cup
Strawberries, hulled and halved 7-8 

* Keep 1 tablespoon of sugar aside for the topping.

Eggless Summer Strawberry Cake

Method Of Preparation -

In a mixing bowl, sift the flours, salt and baking powder.

Cream the butter and sugar until the mixture is fluffy. Add in the yogurt and milk and make a smooth mixture.

Gradually add the dry ingredients (the flour mixture) into the wet ingredients and gently mix it until well combined. The batter is thicker than the usual cake batter.

Preheat the oven to 400 °F. Grease a deep 8 inch pie pan and sprinkle flour all over and dust the excess flour. [ I used a 9 inch pie dish]

Pour the batter and evenly spread the it and level it with a spatula.

Arrange the strawberries on the top with the cut side facing down. Sprinkle some powdered sugar on top of the strawberries.

Bake at 400 °F for 10 minutes and then reduce to 350 °F and bake for 35 minutes or until a tester comes out clean when inserted in the center of the cake. 

[The original recipe says to bake for 1 hour at 350 °F after baking for 10 min at 400 °F but I felt that the cake would get burnt. So please you your judgement as each oven is calibrated differently].

Let the cake cool for a few minutes. Run a knife along the edges and remove onto a server plate and slice as needed.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 52.

Preparation Time 15 min + Baking Time 45 min
Makes 9 inch cake

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Mango Salsa

After a hectic month of Baking in April, we are again back to the relaxed 3 days in a week posting as part of Blogging Marathon.

For Week 1, I have chosen to highlight some of the seasonal fruits and vegetables. As part of the series, check out this quick and easy Mango Salsa which is sure to tease your taste buds for Day 1.

There is nothing more refreshing than a glass of cool lemonade, Tortilla chips and Mango Salsa on a hot Spring day, right? Spring is finally here! Yay!!! (Touch wood!)

Mango Salsa

Ingredients - 

Ripe Mango, peeled and chopped 1 cup
Red Bell Pepper, seeded and finely chopped, 1 Tbsp
Red Onion, finely chopped 1 Tbsp
Jalapeno, finely chopped 1 Tbsp (or as needed)
Cilantro/Coriander leaves finely chopped 1 Tbsp
Lime/Lemon Juice as needed
Salt and Pepper as needed

Mango Salsa

Method Of Preparation -

In a mixing bowl, add all the ingredients, toss and adjust the taste as needed.

Chill for an hour or serve immediately. Serve it with tortilla chips for a delightful snack.

Preparation Time 15 minutes
Makes 2 cups

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We, a group of motivated bloggers from the Blogging Marathon Group are currently running ran a Mega marathon by firing up our ovens. We shall have each of us post(ed) 26 tempting baked goodies, one each day. Please note that we are were off on sundays.

Check out all the baked goods all at one place. I shall update this page as and when I post a new baked recipe.

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Posted by Harini R on Friday, May 1, 2015
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