Sunday, April 20, 2008

Panna Cotta

The first Italian dessert I ever made! When I first made Panna Cotta, I had followed a recipe from Food Network's 'Everyday Italian' for an Espresso Panna Cotta. The easiest one to make, requires very little preparation and time!
This time, I just used a store bought Panna Cotta mix that came with a Raspberry sauce mix too.

Ingredients : milk & cream, 1 cup each.

Followed directions on the box:
Bring milk to a boil, remove from heat and whisk in the Panna Cotta mix. Add 1 cup whipping cream, whisk until well combined. Pour into small ramekins or desert dishes. Chill for 2 hours or more. Turn onto a serving plate, garnish with raspberry sauce.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Sorakaya-Tomato Pappu (Bottlegourd-Tomato Dal)


Toor dal - 1 cup (washed & soaked in warm water for 1/2 hr)
Sorakaya - 3 cups, chopped 1" cubes (peel the skin & chop)
Tomatoes - 3 medium, roughly chopped
Onion - 1 medium, roughly chopped
Green chillies - 4
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp (adjust per taste)
Water - 1 cup
Amchur powder - 2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Dried red chillies - 2, tear and deseed
Garlic - 2 cloves, minced
Curry leaves - sprig
Oil - 2 tsp
Ghee - 2 tsp (optional)

  1. Pressure cook toor dal, sorakaya, tomatoes, onion, green chillies with turmeric, salt and 1 cup water for upto 4 whistles. 
  2. When pressure is released, remove the lid and add amchur powder, adjust salt.
  3. In a small saucepan, heat 2 tsp oil for seasoning. When oil is hot, add mustard seeds. When they start crackling, add rest of the ingredients called for under seasoning. Fry for just a few seconds and add this seasoning to dal mixture.
Stir in 2 tsp ghee for that perfect taste! Serve with warm rice!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Pudina Pulav

Pudina (Mint) Leaves - 2 cups, packed (add little water and make puree)
Basmati Rice - 2 1/2 cups (I use the 'cup' from the electric rice cooker)
Water - 4 cups and Mint puree - 1 cup : to cook rice
Green chillies - 6 (adjust per taste)

Cloves (lavang) -5 
Cardamom pods - 3
Cinnamon - 1/2" piece, make a coarse powder
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Ginger Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - sprig
Onion - 1 medium, roughly chopped
French beans - 1 cup, chopped 
Green peas - 1 cup
a pinch of turmeric
Salt to taste
Pulav masala - 2 tsp
2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp butter (optional)

  1. Make a puree of mint leaves and green chillies. Set aside
  2. Start the electric rice cooker on 'cooking' . When the cooker is hot, add oil & butter and toss cumin seeds. Once they fry up, add cloves, cardamom, cinnamon powder, ginger & garlic paste
  3. Let the ginger garlic paste fry for a minute, toss in curry leaves & chopped onion. Saute onion until translucent.
  4. Stir in beans, add 1/4 tsp salt and let fry for 3 minutes. Add peas, fry for 2 minutes.
  5. Add washed rice, turmeric, salt and pulav masala. Mix and let fry for 3 minutes.
  6. Add mint puree and water, adjust salt. Cover and cook until done.
  7. To get a dry texture, remove the cooked rice to a wide bowl and spread to cool.
Is perfect all by itself or serve with any korma.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Bendakaya-Soya Chunks Pulusu (Okra-Soya Chunks in Spicy Sauce)

I was wondering how soya chunks would taste in a tamarind sauce. After some thought, decided to combine okra & soya chunks. I was happy with the result! The soya chunks absorbed the spicy sauce - they were chewy & juicy! This sauce variety is good with rice.

Bhindi - 12 (wash, dry & cut into 1 1/2 " pieces)
Soya chunks - 12 (soak in warm salted water for 10 mins. wash & squeeze water)
1 big onion, thinly sliced and halved
1 big tomato, roughly chopped
2 tbsp tamarind pulp
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Red chillie powder (Paprika) - 1 tsp
Sambar powder - 1 tsp
Fennel seed powder - 1 tsp
Green chillies - 4, slit lengthwise
Cilantro (Coriander) leaves - 2 tbsp, finely chopped
Oil - 2 tbsp
Water - 3 cups
For seasoning:
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cloves (lavang) - 3, crushed
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Dried red chillie - 2, tear and deseed
Garlic - 3 cloves, minced
Curry leaves - sprig

  1. Heat oil in a saucepan, do the seasoning - starting with mustard seeds. When they crackle, toss in cloves, cumin seeds, red chillie, garlic & curry leaves
  2. Immediately add onion, saute just until tender
  3. Add in tomato pieces, salt & turmeric. Mix, cover & cook until tomatoes soften
  4. Add 3 cups water, tamarind pulp, green chillies. Toss in cut bhindi & soya chunks
  5. Let boil until bhindi softens, stir in red chillie, sambar and fennel seed powders.
  6. Boil for 10 minutes, turn the heat off & sprinkle chopped coriander leaves

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Dondakaya (Tindora) Vepudu

This recipe involves deep frying, you wouldn't want to make it too often.
Well, you just might, after you try it out once!! J

Tindora (Dondakaya), thinly sliced - 1 lbs
Onion - 1 medium, finely chopped
Peanuts, toasted - 2 tbsp
Coconut, grated - 2 tbsp
Curry leaves - a sprig
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Garlic, chopped - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Red chillie powder - 1 tsp (adjust per your taste)
Oil - to deep fry

  1. Wash, dry and thinly slice tindora, lengthwise. (You can also slice them into thin rounds)
  2. Deep fry them in oil until they shrivel, remove onto a paper towel.
  3. In a saute pan, heat a tsp oil and do the seasoning of cumin seeds, chopped garlic, curry leaves. Stir in finely chopped onion, saute until translucent. Toss in toasted peanuts and the fried tindora pieces.
  4. Add salt, turmeric, red chillie powder. Mix well. Stir in fresh grated coconut. Turn the heat off.
Serves as an excellent side dish with Rasam or Sambar.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Stuffed Brinjal/Eggplant (Gutthi Vankaya )

14 small eggplants (you can use white or purple variety)
Tomato paste - 2 tsp
Tamarind pulp - 2 tsp
Sugar - 2 tsp
Oil - 2 tbsp
Water - 1/2 cup
Coriander leaves (Cilantro), chopped - 2 tbsp

make a fine paste:
Onions - 2 small
Corainder seeds - 2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Poppy seeds - 1 tsp
Fennel seeds - 1 tsp
Ginger - 1/2" piece
Garlic - 3 cloves
Green chillies - 4 (optional)
Coconut, grated - 2 tbsp

Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Red chillie powder - 1 tsp
Salt to taste

  • Make slits to the eggplants, leaving the stem side intact
  • Add salt, turmeric and red chillie powder to the ground paste. Stuff the eggplants with the ground paste
  • Heat oil in a wide skillet. Add stuffed eggplants and the leftover ground paste, fry on low heat until eggplants become soft on the outside, and the paste loses its raw smell
  • Add tomato paste, water, tamarind pulp and sugar
  • Mix, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes
  • Adjust salt, if required
  • Turn the heat off, sprinkle chopped coriander leaves
  • Serve with rice